Game Eaters

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Games as Art on the NYT

On the tails of Ebert's blog comes a more nuanced look at the games and art debate in The New York Times. Spielberg is cited in Ebert's place, without the peculiar claims of interactivity, while a couple of good points are brought up as to the emotions that games readily evoke.

Steven Spielberg last year offered one model for the medium to follow: cinema. In an address to students learning to be game developers at the University of Southern California, Mr. Spielberg, who has since contracted to create three games, challenged the industry to improve the storytelling, character development and emotional content in the same way it has enhanced the images and action. The medium will come of age, he said, "when somebody confesses that they cried at Level 17."

But movies are just one model for games to emulate. Henry Jenkins, director of the comparative media studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, suggested that they are equally close to dance, as a medium of performance, or architecture, as a medium of creating unique spaces.


  • Yeah, this article isn't a bad antidote to Ebert. But that Speilberg quote still drives me nuts. I hate it when people use crying as their yardstick to judge the artistic value of games, especially when it's just a matter of the experiences of one gaming community versus the experiences of another. Spielberg obviously has no idea what games have come and gone that have been famous for their emotional impact, so for him to make presumptuous statements like that is annoying.

    I mean, the fact that he mentions "crying" in terms of "levels" should be a big hint. Clearly his concept of videogames hasn't evolved much beyond the 80's.

    By Blogger Matt, at 11:54 AM  

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