Monday, January 25, 2010

Making Art

Seth Godin (master marketer and thinker on things community) has a short blog post about art. He defines art thusly:
  1. Art is made by a human being.
  2. Art is created to have an impact, to change someone else.
  3. Art is a gift. You can sell the souvenir, the canvas, the recording... but the idea itself is free, and the generosity is a critical part of making art.
Drop this definition into the discussion of Are Games Art and you find that: yes, they are.

Games are made by human beings. They can be created to have an impact, even if that impact is to distract you for five minutes at a time. And they are a gift: sometimes you have to buy them, but once a game is released into the wild the ideas and concepts it presents are available for everyone else to see and use. They create discussion, even without being played. A game with a unique mechanic informs other games simply by existing.

Games are art because we make them and we fill them with our ideas and then we release them into the wild for others to see and experience and ponder and play. Perhaps some games are better art than others. Just as some paintings or sculpture has more meaning for some than others, so too games can be personal to our experiences. Even Tetris can be art.

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