Cover Image

The Incompatibility of Games and Artworks

Brock Rough

Abstract


Recent debate has focused on whether videogames are art. Whatever the answer, the debate has largely taken it for granted that videogames are games, and that this is unproblematic for the art status of videogames. This paper argues that something being a game is incompatible with it also being an artwork, and thus insofar as videogames are games, they cannot be artworks. This incompatibility arises out of the different attitudes that are prescribed for engaging with games versus those for engaging with artworks. Citing a modified definition of games from Bernard Suits and commonly held conditions of artworks, I show that for an artist to intend something as a game or an artwork is to intend essential constitutive conditions of the object that preclude the object from being both a game and an artwork. This requires a reconsideration of several contemporary theories about games and art while also providing an analysis of games that calls for them to be appreciated as what they are without distracting miscategorization.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Games

bit studios (2014). This War of Mine. Windows.

Darrow, Charles and Magie, Elisabeth (1935). Monopoly. Hasbro.

Literature

Budd, M. (2003). The Acquaintance Principle. British Journal of Aesthetics, 43(4), 386–392. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjaesthetics/43.4.386

Currie, G. (1991). Work and Text. Mind, 100(3), 325–340.

https://doi.org/10.1093/mind/C.399.325

Ebert, R. (2010). Video Games Can Never Be Art. Accessed on 4/23/2013.

Hurka, T. (2005). Introduction. In The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia. Broadview Press. (1978). Irvin, S. (2005). The Artist's Sanction in Contemporary Art. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 63(4), 315–326. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0021-8529.2005.00214.x

Kennick, W. E. (1958). Does traditional aesthetics rest on a mistake? Mind, 67(267), 317–334.

https://doi.org/10.1093/mind/LXVII.267.317

Lamarque, P. (2010). Work and Object. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577460.001.0001

Levinson, J. (2006). Erotic Art and Pornographic Pictures. In Contemplating Art, (pp. 259–271). Oxford University Press. (2005).https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206179.003.0016

Levinson, J. (2011). Defining Art Historically. In Music, Art,& Metaphysics, (pp. 3–25). Oxford University Press. (1979).

Lopes, D. M. (2010). A Philosophy of Computer Art. Routledge. Mag Uidhir, C. (2009). Why Pornography Can't Be Art. Philosophy and Literature, 33(1), 193–203.

https://doi.org/10.1353/phl.0.0036

Smuts, A. (2005). Are Video Games Art? Contemporary Aesthetics, 2. Stecker, R. (1990). The boundaries of art. British Journal of Aesthetics, 30(3), 266–272. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjaesthetics/30.3.266

Suits, B. (2014). The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia. Broadview Press, 3 ed. (1978).

Tavinor, G. (2009). The Art of Videogames. Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444310177

Walton, K. L. (1990). Mimesis as Make-Believe. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Wittgenstein, L. (2009). Philosophical Investigations. Wiley-Blackwell, 4 ed. (1953).

Tavinor, Grant (2009). The Art of Videogames. Wiley-Blackwell.

Walton, Kendall L. (1990). Mimesis as Make-Believe. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig (2009). Philosophical Investigations. Wiley-Blackwell, 4 ed. (1953).




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5617/jpg.2736

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.