Art History of Games was Replete with Sesquipedalian Confabulation.

as_banner_sleep_AHOGSo this weekend we were fortunate enough to get to go to The Art History of Games here in Atlanta. For myself to gain entry, I had to promise to get an IGDA tattoo somewhere on my body and film it which should be happening sometime in the near future.

As far as general content of the conference went, most of it was peripheral to the mindset I have when it comes to designing games or evaluating games. I have never been one to try to quantify a game’s essential artness or care about it’s claims to such. I see games like Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Katamari, Braid and many, many others as “artful” games while others like Passage, September 12, or The Marriage I see as “art” games. I like having all these games and think that they are all important milestone for our game development community but I have absolutely NO interest in arguing their artistic merit to anyone from the art community.

I think Ian Bogost brought up a good point about games being more than art and art being broken anyways. After this conference and my research since I am finding myself agreeing more and more with this sentiment. I honestly thought this “Are Videogames Art?” question was over with and this conference was going to be more of a retrospective. I know the question of what is the value of even asking whether videogames are art was brought up, but I don’t feel like I ever heard a substantive answer. Maybe if it’s the archivist point of view like Romero’s, then I can understand that but I’m just tired of trying to prove to people that we are part of a system that’s broken anyways.

I definitely have more to say on this as the conference was incredible and very thought provoking for me even if I tended to disagree with a lot of what was said. In the end it made me realize that my creative process when it comes to games is far simpler than anything these people were saying and it made me very happy.

So back to the Sleep demo for now, more thoughts later.

PS. Jason Rohrer is taller than pretty much anyone you know.