As bloggers, we know that our journeys on the Internet can sometime lead to unexpected places. That’s where I find myself today, at this point, answering a very innocent question posed by the kind proprietor of The Long and Short of It (a blog/blogger worth following if you’re not already) on my article “Are Video Games Art?” And that question is:
What video games are good art?
To further quote, of said question, he succinctly and brilliantly dubbed it a “storm in a teacup.” I simply love that turn of phrase; how remarkably accurate it is here. Because truly, how in the holy hell of cultural edifices does one even begin to answer that?
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The always inquisitive and never dull Well-Red Mage recently bestowed the community with another “Big Question.” The first “Big Question,” you may recall, was “What have you learned since you started blogging?” Twas an interesting question to answer, on that provoked plenty of inner dialogue.
When I noticed the second question, my heart lurched a little.
Asking Big Questions #002: “Are video games art?”
Ahh, that old chestnut, is it? Honestly, I’m not even sure of how to best approach answering this for myself. Having read the responses to the Mage’s original post, as well as other responses from the community, a large part of me agrees with most folks.
Q. Are video games art?
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I know I should do a reblog, but a question has been bugging me lately, and yesterday it became even more of an aggravation. And that’s because I read yet another article in the local newspaper about the best binge-worthy TV shows. These articles are pretty commonplace these days, and it seems that binge-watching is here to stay. If fact, it’s practically something to brag about – how one’s weekend was spent on the couch, engrossed in whatever show of whatever genre, out of the sunlight, away from socialness, stopped only for takeout, texts, and bathroom breaks…maybe. This is alright. This is cool. This is acceptable. And though the newspaper didn’t have a comment section, I’m certain that the corresponding article in the paper’s digital version probably got lots of supportive comments and thumbs up.
Continue reading “Binging on Some Food for Thought”
During a recent review of the contents of a couple old USB drives that I had forgotten that I stashed away, I found a handful of articles that I had written for a gaming site that went defunct. Since I hate for words to sit unread (even those in incoherent, rambly sentences), I decided I might as well share them here. Here’s one from around January 2013 in which I mused over some depictions of games and gamers on the big screen.
It’s widely accepted among gamers and movie-goers that movies based on video games are never quite as good as the games themselves. But movies that contain references to video games…well, some of those aren’t that great as well; but many of them are perfectly enjoyable. These references range from large (Tron – the entire movie) to small (remember the NES Advantage controller from Ghostbusters 2?) to everything in between. While it’s unfortunate that Hollywood often invokes typical “gamer” stereotypes (as “they” do with just about any group “they” don’t fully understand), these references are testament to the fact that video games are an integral part of our culture. I love it when games, consoles, or gamers get in a little bit of screen time, so here are a few of my favorite video game references in movies.
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I don’t usually judge games on the “for boys” or “for girls” factor. That said, I get that many of games have been and are made with the male gaze in mind. What would boys want to fight, drive, and look at…that sort of thing. It’s not something that racks my brain because I often want to fight, drive, and look at the same thing as boys. Often, but not always. So when I first ventured into the Vanilla Unicorn, Grand Theft Auto V’s sole strip club (as opposed to there being multiple clubs in previous games), I was okay with the fact that there were, and call me crazy here, probably going to be partially nude women (not men, because, question mark) in it. When I walked up to one of the strippers working the room and she inquired about a private dance, I was okay with that too. Sexy time, lap dance, fine, whatever, have at…I was ready. Only I wasn’t, because I was utterly taken aback by happened when the private dance started. Once you arrived in the special lounge, your dancer awaited, naked from the waist up. (Sure.) Upon sitting down, the on-screen view changed from behind the girl to boobs. No face, no legs, just two breasts sauntering round yo’ face.
Continue reading “Grand Theft Auto V: All That and Boobs in Your Face”