Why are artists turning to interactive digital media?

Will art games ever be respected by gamers?

I stumble upon this article and thought it was very interesting and appropriated for the class

This are 2 links for the article…


This article titled “Basquiat meets Mario Brothers? Digital poet Jason Nelson on the meaning of art games” was written by Keith Stuart, for guardian.co.uk on Tuesday 13th September 2011 07.30 UTC

3 responses to “Why are artists turning to interactive digital media?

    • On the one hand, without the parameter of a gallery or art world approval, anything can be art and nothing can be art at the same time. We have historically defined art as what has been accepted as art by experts in the field (and especially after abstract and conceptual art in America), and when that disappears it becomes hard for me to distinguish in my mind what is and is not art, if anything.

      If we reject historical definitions, it calls into question the whole art world’s relationship with digital media. There would be no art collectors (because if it were free and open to everyone, where is the excitement in owning one of millions?), and no auctions (because when an app is freely available in an app store who would pay more than it’s worth to own a copy?). Artists would mostly have to rely on commercial success to make their earnings, which is not that different today, but a completely different audience of people. You are catering to the masses, not to collectors and galleries, which is a positive and negative all at the same time. And it opens new factors. Is it for Mac or PC? Do you have to have an iPhone in order to see it? These are considerations that we didn’t even have to think about with traditional media.

      There is obviously something different about digital media in that it is so reproducible and able to be shared, and it is in those characteristics that digital art can easily be cheapened. By creating a gallery copy, it would keep to the old media constraints, but would still allow the art world to flow as it has instead of forcing a whole new market to be added. Seeing how the art world has been determined to monetize all art – whether it is land art, installations, or public art – I feel like the same will remain for digital art.

      TL;DR – While I am not sure that the galleries and such are required for the distribution and enjoyment of digital art, I feel that in order to shown alongside traditional media and given the same weight, it must be monetized and limited, and the galleries might be the best way to do it.

  1. Respected? Sure, maybe amongst gamers. Bought and played on a massive scale? I’m not sure about that. And accepted as art? I don’t know.

    What exactly makes an “art game”, I wonder? I mean, all games have a graphic interface, and involve interactivity. Many games explore social issues, political issues or alternate realities, which I often also feel when looking at a work of art. I think that many games, especially indie type games, are becoming more artsy and experimental in style, which I think begins to blur the line between artistic experience and pure amusement.

    And I think what John F. Simon about the need for unique art objects to display in a gallery is relevant… part of what makes a game is the ability for a unique interactive experience based on how you play, and the experience of many users and players. You could lose, you could win, and now many games have various customizable shades of grey in the form of different endings. It’s in the variety and difference that there’s strength. If there were only one art object with the game on it, I wonder if that could change the effect of the game. Jason Nelson in the article you linked mentioned working on an Android/Iphone game, which would deny a gallery an unique art object, would that effect how it’s received as art?

    Lots of things to think about, interesting link!

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