Why are games held in such low esteem?

I remember reading a couple of months ago that games are now considered art. I applaud this decision not only because it can open up new doors for indie developers if they go down the grants road but because games deserve to be.

Games these days can stir up emotions, they can offer controversy, then make us laugh, angry and offer beautiful worlds and stories in which we can explore. Similar to books they offer fantastic stories, fantasies in which we can escape to from the tolls of daily life. Stories in which we can share with our family and friends.  Though when we discuss a book the story is the same for each person (though opinions regarding the story will wildly differ), but when you discuss a game and even though the end is normally the same the journey there is a different experience for each person. Discuss your journey through Oblivion with a friend and you will find his or her story vastly different than yours. (This opens up a whole debate of whether sandbox/open world games are a better or worse story telling medium than linear games. I am not evoking on a task to discuss that now though.)

Like movies games offer brilliant stories with twists and turns, made real with an amazing script and top class acting.

And like art they offer real beauty and create worlds we can believe in.

Yet with all this on offer games are still frowned upon by the majority of people. To be fair it is usually industry outsiders who think the only people that play games are lazy unemployed people, students with free time or foul mouthed chavs. This is not the case these days; I think gaming is cooler and more accepted than it used to be due to the improvement in quality in every aspect of game creating. Gamers tend to be more mature and require more mature games than just shooters.

So what do non gamers think of gamers? I asked a colleague at work and she said because gaming is very self-indulgent, it takes the gamer away from his her family/friends. It also takes a lot of time, time that could be used doing house hold chores. I think it can take a lot of a person’s time, especially if playing the right game but I think we are talking about people that are addicted here. I do play 4 nights a week, but I play from 10PM, when the jobs are done and the wife is in bed. It’s the time that I would either be asleep or watching something on television. I also play online with two people normally, at FIFA, so this gives us chance to chat and have a laugh.  I use to go to the pub to do that with my friends, this is cheaper and safer.

Another point brought up is that gaming is too violent, that you don’t care about the characters you are slaughtering on screen. Is this worse than watching an action film? The only difference is that you are pulling the trigger. Games are violent and 80% of them involve killing in one way or another, but they are not overly violent. Most show the consequences of killing and do not glorify it.

The flip side of ‘games are violent’ is that games can test our moral judgement and make us choice right the paths, unlike films we decide which route we take. For example in Fable 3 I was given the choice of rebuilding an orphanage or tearing it down to save money. Even though this is not real life and the result of my choice would not affect me in anyway, I could not pull down an orphanage (think of the children). I also found myself following all the Paragon routes in Mass Effect 2.

As far as I can see gaming, in moderation like anything else, is a good thing. Like watching a high quality movie, but in which you make the choices. You may make the wrong choice but it’s yours to make. Gaming has gained me a good friend, gaming makes me laugh, makes me think, it keeps my mind active and working. It’s not made me violent. It’s not made me lazy. It certainly has not made me a bad father or awful husband in anyway.

What are your thoughts on your own gaming experiences? Please comment and we can discuss these issues further.

 

 

Discussion Info


Last updated July 4, 2018 Views 0 Applies to:

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i'd like to summarize my gaming life as such....

 

i've been gaming for nearly 30 years

 

i hold down a full time job for a multinational security company where i am in a supervisory role.

 

i have played and enjoyed various so called "violent" and "dangerous" games such as Thrill Kill, Postal, Doom, Quake, all GTA's from the PC days, Street Fighter, Call Of Duty, Manhunt etc etc.

 

I have met and made many friends through gaming and i find that gamers are one of the most socialable groups of people i have ever come across... more so since the advent of xbox live etc.

 

to quote bill hicks ..although he was talking about drugs..i feel it's relevant...

 

[quote] Didn't murder anybody, didn't r*pe anybody, didn't rob anybody, didn't beat anybody, didn't lose – hmm – one effin job, laughed my a** off, and went about my day[/quote]

 

 

Exactly the same as Butters. Same years gaming etc, met plenty of friends (one is now one of my closest friends) .

No game has ever wanted me to committ a crime etc. A lot have made me want to throw the ruddy xbox out of the window !! thats frustration though!!!.

It's the most interesting form of entertainment that represents an unparalleled value for money as far as I'm concerned.

Because games are still a lower form of art to literature, cinema, music, and, dare I say, television.

Games have yet to carve their own creative niche independent from cinema as far as creating stories is concerned. The likes of Mafia and LA Noire borrow heavily from pre-established tropes of film noir and gangster flicks.

Until they stop being so derivative and uninspired, I don't see why games should be placed alongside other forms of art just yet.

On the subject of violence I can't really think of any game which shows the cost of death. Cinema has done this countless times but the only way games seem to do it is with cheesy overwrought dialogue sequences about the dangers of nukes or why war is bad m'kay.

I think GTA4 had a pretty good try at showing the cost of death.... no matter what ending happened... Nico ended up losing someone close to him as a direct result of his life of crime and violence. At no point throughout that game do i feel his life is one of glamour.

 

I don't think the argument should be weather games should be considered "art" but they should be considered as equal in the entertainment industry along with film and tv.

 

it all goes back to a recent discussion on here about under age children playing COD.

 

the games that generally create the most uproar are 18 plus... so theoretically, unless parents are letting their children play games under age, there shouldn't be a problem with it poisoning the minds of our youth.

 

as for influencing future "terrorists" or evoking horror of past "terrorist" actions...then like i've said in other posts... films such as United 93 or Munich should also be banned by this thinking...

 

just my ten penneth

I guess the problem for non gamers is that games require some effort on the part of the consumer. For gamers, learning new game skills has it's own reward.

If some dude can stuff half a dead cow into fishtank full of formaldehyde or another guy fill a room waist deep in porcelain sunflower seeds and call that crap "art", then all games are art in my opinion.

[quote user="SteampunkZomb1e"]

Yet with all this on offer games are still frowned upon by the majority of people.

To be fair it is usually industry outsiders who think the only people that play games are lazy unemployed people, students with free time or foul mouthed chavs.

This is not the case these days; I think gaming is cooler and more accepted than it used to be due to the improvement in quality in every aspect of game creating. Gamers tend to be more mature and require more mature games than just shooters.

 

[/quote]

 

It's not games that have a bad rap.

It's gamers.

Because whenever gamers try to sound clever they sound the opposite, usually making daft statements like "people who play shooters aren't real gamers".

Hey... wait a minute!

Az

In the late Victorian period, it was the penny dreadfuls

In the 20's/30's it was Jazz music.

In the 40's , it was swing.

In the 60's it was hippy culture

In the 70's it was punk rock

In the 80's it was video nasties.

We are suffering this generations Bogeyman, for no other reason than opinion pages in papers need filling.

[quote user="ClawedGarnish"]

In the late Victorian period, it was the penny dreadfuls

In the 20's/30's it was Jazz music.

In the 40's , it was swing.

In the 60's it was hippy culture

In the 70's it was punk rock

In the 80's it was video nasties.

We are suffering this generations Bogeyman, for no other reason than opinion pages in papers need filling.

[/quote]

 

...and of course for "Outraged from Nottingham" to have something to write about...

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