Kellee Santiago Explains Why Games Are Not Art: Draw Your Own Conclusion Edition

I am a huge fan of Flower and enjoyed Flow, so I was really looking forward to this talk. I was in the audience when it was given and she did not fail in her attempt to be provocative. While she did not give him credit, she drew from Clive Barker's defense of games as art in his on line debate with Roger Ebert to argue game are not yet art. I was not really sure whether she meant to say
there was no art yet, so I asked her, and she confirmed that in her opinion no one has created art. If I agreed with her, I probably would not post it here. It is a bold statement and I invite you to consider it.


Mike said…
I think the great trapdoor in this argument is the insupportabe assertion that all the potential energy lies ahead, and whitewashes the past as noble attempts, but ultimate failures in using the medium to express a personal and ineffable experience. We've crested that hill already. Electroplankton. Mario. Fable 2. Mirror's Edge. Metroid Prime. Portal. Half-Life. Passage. Facade. The Sims. Everyday Shooter. Spore. Zelda. Mother.

Are we really ready to allow these works to be socially deligitimized because they happened to be released at a time when the majority of the mainstream didn't really understand how interactivity can be used expressively? They didn't realizes interaction was a medium, and not just a toy? Ebert's wrong. And Santiago is, I think, quite behind the times on this point.

I'd rather play Prime than watch Citizen Kane. Would rather play Electroplankton than watch Chien Andalou. Would sooner wallow Kane & Lynch than watch M.

It's not that there hasn't been a game that can compete against the significant works of other media, it's that the audience is still afraid to make the comparison.
Keith said…
You are so dead on. I am glad I am not alone.
Anonymous said…
Art: "artifice", that which is created. Once, this was what the word meant. And there was really no difference between a craftsman and an artist - consider Da Vinci, artist, craftsman, engineer, designer. But when the dissolute sons of the gentry found that instead of joining the boring clergy or some other profession, they could become "Artists", art became "Art", that ineffable thing of truth and light that elevates the Artist above such mundane concerns as purpose and quality. It's all bollocks of course, art does not exist.
Evgeni said…
World of Goo is an art game for me. It moved me, if not as deeply as some books, at least it did compared to 90% of games that are only fun but nothing else. There were signs and visual that really made difference. The game also criticizes the consumer society that we are in at the moment.

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