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February 28, 2024 - @608.81 (what is this?)
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Author Topic: Help me plan a video game art exhibition!  (Read 152 times)
Melooon
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« on: January 24, 2024 @909.50 »

Hello! I have the opportunity to arrange a small irl art exhibition that focuses on video games as interactive art!

My hope is to encourage some artists who are normally used to making typical static art (painting, illustration etc) to play with the idea of games as an artistic medium - e.g. meaning I'd like them to be able to make some sort of game - even if its very simple.

  • So my question for you is what would you like/expect to see at a video game exhibition?
  • If you were an artist considering this event, what would encourage you to join/what would push you away?
  • How would you design the gallery? Would it be very minimal or would you decorate it heavily?
  • What tools and resources would you suggest to people as a way of making a very basic game?
  • What would you really dislike to see at such an event?
  • How interactive should it be for a visitor?

Anmd I suppose overall; what do you think of when you think of video games as art? What aspects of a game stand out to you?

Hopefully, there are some replies because I feel like I could really use some assistance figuring this one out! :tongue:
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Nikodile
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2024 @934.69 »

Sounds like an awesome idea! I feel video games usually don't get treated as art as much as they should be. Kinda feels like it's treated more as a commodity more often than art.

1. I always love to see "behind the scenes" things for video games. Concept art, scrapped ideas, road bumps, etc are all very interesting to me. That being said, could be fun having a meta game that shows behind the scenes things from other games within a game itself.
4. I use Godot personally and think you can make pretty simple games on it for free.
6. Making a "demo disc"-like hub world could be really cool. Example.

Cool idea overall! Video games are awesome.
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Dibs
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2024 @953.13 »

The only times I've seen games featured in museums as an interactive exhibition is through arcade machines or a console they've put a racing game on to go 'wow, remember the x-box 360?'. The only exhibition I've seen with games as a medium for art is the LuYang Arcade (though I think the artist does NFTs these days, sigh). This is mostly through the utilisation of the aesthetics of games or the themes of power, defeating enemies, or uncovering information that seem inherent to many classic game genres. The whole exhibit is a means to provoke confusion about limiting things to binaries, as well as to express some deep emotions about gender and the human body. Not the most relevant, but perhaps interesting.

4. In terms of this exhibit, the most easy-access, intuitive coding language I know is Scratch, and that's by design since it's meant to teach children. I don't know at what point it limits a game's capacity, but I grew up on the scratch website and some people made great stuff.
3. I would definitely decorate the gallery, even if it leans minimalistic. Maybe utilise flowcharts and other graphics representing the process of making games?
6. I feel like you want a good mix of interactivity and substance you can access without that interactive element, just to keep things flowing and engaging! Not everyone wants to interact, and not everyone wants to simply look.

In terms of 1, 2, and 5, I think the biggest factor would be your angle on games as art. If it's something we've heard before, it won't be as interesting as if you have a way of looking at it that opens up new opportunities for both the medium and the artist. We know that games are unique for their interactive elements, but what else allows us to get a unique perspective on a piece of art? Is it their relationship to time, to process, to 'work'? Is it because games are dependent on the player, and to what extent is that true? Can you remove the player's control to access a new level of meaning, and when does it stop being a game and become a video? Maybe you don't want it to be quite that intense for the average audience, but maybe you don't want it to be too surface-level either.
I know an artist who loves experimenting with medium and form, especially deconstructing the medium and the art to create something new and exposed. I think the opportunity to see the bredth and depth of a new medium could be very engaging for artists like him.

I'm not sure if any of that was amazingly helpful, but it's likely food for thought if nothing else. Good luck!
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Melooon
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2024 @960.36 »

These are both great replies and I like the trend of "open process" that both have mentioned; for me that fits into web ideals of open information and I think that's nice to include!

I also wanted to add that I noticed there's another thread going around where people are sharing the artwork they have made within games or on games systems (like the Animal Crossing pixel drawing and pictochat!) That feels like it could be a really cool angle too and very approachable for many traditional artists since they can do their regular work and still have it within a game world  :omg:

So Maybe I'd expand the idea of making a simple game, to also include making art within a game too; which totally opens up the door to all sorts of building and in-game art doodads!
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ThunderPerfectWitchcraft
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2024 @967.84 »

1. Games that stretch the definition of games. Games that surprise me, or challenge me!
2. A RL-exhibition? Only thing that would keep me from coming would be distance ;).
3. A otherworldy, haunted penny arcade!
4. Modding existing games is the easiest way. Other than that: Twine or Godot for the game logic, GIMP or PS for Graphics, Audacity, LMMS and Ardour for sound.
5. Same as everywhere else: Bigotry, group-specific misanthropy, chauvinism.
6. I'd assume that every piece is interactive when I go to a exhibition 'bout games as interactive art.

All games are art from my point of view; but art is - for me - a neutral term; art doesn't mean "good quality", and not every game that is fun is good art - just as not every book that is fun to read is a good book/piece of art. I prefer to play games (and enjoy art in general) that allow me to see them as authentic - things that are done in the way they are because their creators think this is exactly how they should be done - if I have the feeling that the artist honestly tries to communicate something to me, I enjoy it.

Might I interest you in my blog post about games as a form of art?
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Melooon
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2024 @992.26 »

Might I interest you in my blog post about games as a form of art?
Thanks! I gave it a quick read and it's a well-constructed article! (I actually have a few similar papers I want to review)

On the point of how I plan to deal with the "Are games art" question; my plan is to simply say "They are", video games are here, they don't need to justify themselves anymore!

From a personal level I tend to look at it like this - in games, the player is the artist and the game designer is the paintbrush - unlike traditional art where the paintbrush is just a tool; in games we expect the paintbrush to step up and take on an equal role with the artist - it stops being a product and starts to become a collaborative dance - and I think that's why games are so major for people today, because that idea of being included is much more relevant to the connected world we live in!
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ThunderPerfectWitchcraft
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2024 @1.45 »

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the accolade :D.
I agree that the whole thing is basically over, but I think the question still needs to be - individually - answered if you want to define what a good art-game (or game-art) is.

I don't agree on your analogy; I believe that the game designer is the painter and his tools are the colors and brushes (and so on); but I do think that every work of art isn't finished before it is perceived, aknowledged by someone - this last step is when an object becomes art; and both the freedom and the gravitas within this last, ultimate step within the "art process" is stronger for the average video game than for average works in other mediums.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2024 @19.64 by ThunderPerfectWitchcraft » Logged

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