Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sex and Video Games

Here's an interesting follow-up to my Grand Theft Auto IV article. In the last little while, several video game critics have begun to pop up, critics like the scabrous though quite amusing Yahtzee over at Zero Punctuation. Perhaps the appearance of critics indicates that at least somewhere someone thinks the medium as a whole has, or may one day have, artistic value. While I myself play video games, I'm very wary about the idea that games can be called Art (note the capital) or even artistic.

In my GTA article, I suggested that games could not be called art because they lack irony. In order to make my point, I may have exaggerated a little, however. I don't think that all art must be ironic; I do think that video games, whose fundamental gameplay elements are often based on violence (see, oh I don't know... nearly every RPG or FPS ever made), need a healthy dose of irony before they can legitimately be artistic.

Anyway, today I ran across a video that is actually quite interesting. I disagree, and rather strongly, on some of the things that Mr Daniel Floyd says in it but find that he does have some good points. Despite what he says, think there is a lot more holding back video game from the artistic threshold than only a prurient and juvenile fixation on hyper-sexuality, and so his seeming acceptance of games as an art form bothers me. But if nothing else, however, his video suggests that there exists within academia a growing critical awareness of gaming, which is no doubt healthy.

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