Videogames are becoming more photo-realistic. Storys have more room to breathe with a greater length. Cut-scenes are becoming more dynamic and scripts are (starting to be) better written.
It’s the Uncharted games that got me thinking – put these (especially Drakes Fortune) against, for example, the latest Indiana Jones movie and there’[s simply no contest – even the script (most usually considered the one failing of videogames) was far superior in Uncharted. The characters were far more charming and believable too.
Are they now on a equal level with film?
There’s an atonishing range of games now too. I put the following forward as some of the best videogames can offer.
Halo, Combat Evolved
Final Fantasy VIII (yes that’s 8!!!)
Skies of Arcadia
Shadow of the Colussus
Silent Hill 2
Resident Evil 4
Are these up with the best film can offer yet?
No. To everything.
wasn’t there a tron game that came out a couple years ago that was officially a sequel to the film? or maybe prequel?
Why no Malick? Some reasons would be helpful. Which of the above, or any other games, have you played? Just out of interest.
No. But as Roger Ebert just released a blog titled “Video games can never be art,” that might be helpful to this conversation.
“Video games can never be art”
It’s going to take a while (and a few permutations of what we define as “gaming”), but it’s inevitable. I’m sure if Ebert was the world’s most well-known theatre critic in the late 1800’s his steam-blog would have been titled “The Move-ies can never be art.” Like, WTF, all the Lumieres had to do after all was point the camera and press record.
I don’t think they are becoming more important than film. And I disagree on "Uncharted"’s script: I thought it was supremely cliche and filled with horrible, cringe inducing dialogue. Maybe compared to other video games the script is good, but compared to films, the script was trash.
Video games have it’s own world and I think it can be viewed as art if done correctly. Problem is, most of them aren’t and many of them just want to entertain. Most of the gamers I know don’t give a flying fizuck about art, to be honest. They just want to play some games that make them shout “Cool!” when they blow something up.
Sakuragen, I haven’t seen the latest “Indiana Jones” film, nor do I play the video games you’ve mentioned, but your logic is flawed. You’re taking a film you obviously think is mediocre and comparing it to a video game you enjoy thoroughly. That’s akin to saying comic books are more important than movies because you enjoy Superman comics more than the latest “Twilight” flick.
Listen to the way people talk about video games: it’s always crap about how to find this secret key to get to Level 12, unlocking a secret character, whether there are green hypermuscular neanderthals from Brazil who transmit deadly levels of electricity, which Super Mario Brother is their favourite, et cetera.
Name ONE video game that has inspired deep, meaningful conversations about politics, gender issues, ethnic relations, sexuality, poverty and other concerns. Name ONE video game that could stand as a “Citizen Kane” for dramatic and artistic importance. Sakuragen, you are kidding yourself, dear. To accuse video games of being as artistically significant as cinema…dear child, the humble hula hoop has more artistic appeal than a videogame.
This sort of drivel belongs at an Armageddon convention.
If I have to come on this site and have people tell me that crap like Brakhage; 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days; and documentaries are art and equal to the best that Kurosawa and Tarkovsky have to offer, then yes, videogames are art.
^don’t listen to purists, Art means Cultural Advancement, academic bullshit have no place in art.
“crap like … 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days”
Mark Vanselow – not claiming videogames ARE as important as film but asking IF. It’s a question. And if not now … what of the future. The latest Indiana Jones was given as one example, thats all. I chose it because it was a highly anticipated film, with a popular character, and the earlier ‘Raiders..’ could easily land in, say, a top 100 best of. It was directed by one of films best directors (arguably) and starred one of the worlds most popular actors. And yet it was deeply, deeply flawed. Shoddy cripting, acting and action that to be blunt, and ironically, like a poor videogame.
I’m a movie buff – I adore film. But I have noticed over the last couple of years that videogames are ‘potentially’ breking through the, and I hate the use of the word in this context for film also, …. art.
So lets look at ‘Citizen Kane’ – not everyones favourite movies but often put up there as one of the greatest movies ever made. I would put forward ‘Shadow of the Colussus’ as a ’comparable experience. And I realise that may be controversial.
It’s perhaps easier and better to explain myself by saying the top 1% of videogames are possibly better, and hell yes as an artistic piece, than the bottom 99% of films. Videogames maybe have not attained the highest quality that film has to offer but they’re attempting to be. To dismiss them as ‘the humble hula hoop has more artistic appeal than a videogame’ is simply condescending.
Things have moved on since Pac-Man. :)
i only have one thing to say about this topic. i haven’t played videogames in years, but a lot of my friends still do so i see a lot of games, and they don’t seem to have advanced much in the last dozen years, except for graphics.
but i have to say, that the story for Final Fantasy 6 (AKA Final Fantasy 3) for Super NES, is up there with my favorite novels and films. the game play is sort of just something to get you through the whole story. it’s epic
“I’m a movie buff – I adore film. But I have noticed over the last couple of years that videogames are ‘potentially’ breking through the, and I hate the use of the word in this context for film also, …. art.”
anyone who thinks so, hasn’t seen enough from at least 70% of the countries of this EARTH….stop narrowing yourselves in a Western and Japanese fanfare and look further!!!! (and that includes the region / country i mentioned)
The medium is really just in its infancy and obviously only going to continue gaining importance and relevance to our diverse daily human emotions and actions, both profound and banal. Right now the medium can only do a few very narrow things and therefore impress upon The Player in a few very narrow ways, but it will get MUCH more complex, I’m sure. According to an anecdote in Dai Vaughn’s awesome book FOR DOCUMENTARY, early cinema-goers were impressed by the fact that the leaves in the trees MOVED on film. Hence, we’re not talking about rocket-science when we talk about the origins of cinematic media either. Things take time to evolve, and immersive, virtual, interactive environments will grow in popularity and sophistication, I promise.
Pardon me while I go move EXISTENZ to the number on slot on my queue…
As an economic and cultural force, I guess it’s hard to deny that video games are becoming as or more important as film. As an “art”, I disagree. Then again, I’m one of those old-fashioned souls who don’t believe that video games can achieve the state of art. I think – at a basic level- the level of interactivity of video games preclude them from being an art form in any way that I understand the term (you don’t “play” art). I did have an interesting conversation a few months ago with a friend of mine who eeks out a living in part by writing freelance reviews of video games (next thread: the art of video game criticism versus film criticism).. He argued with me that my position was akin to those now laughable luddites in the early twentieth century who believed that film could never be a viable art form.
Homework: can anyone name the game where you’re a psychic escaped from a military testing facility who has to shift through the first person perspectives of surrounding enemies to figure out their locations and movement patterns throughout the prison camp you are trying to get safely out of? You basically have to learn about, deduce, and map the space by collating information about and from a multitude of points of view. Watched a friend play it 5 years ago and have been dying to figure out what the title was.
At any rate, per this discussion, the game was such a good example of how gaming will, I believe inevitably, take exploration of subjectivity to a level beyond that which film has ever been able to. And that evolving exploration in the virtual media itself will probably dovetail with a symbiotic real-world evolution in understanding of consciousness over the next hundred years. Just saying…(edit: …that that sounds kind of like what art does, whatever that word means. Anyways, in short, what ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE said, with everything it implied).
Art is about ideas.
When I see a video game with an original one, maybe…
the problem is, art is something for someone to create to express to OTHERS, and for others to feel a connection with that art. video games you play by yourself, and is determined by your actions. it would be like writing or drawing something, and never showing anybody.
I have a different definition of both art and video games than Johnny. Some art is not necessarily made to be shared with others. And some video games are played by multiple people (e.g.: forum threads, if you’re willing to abstract things that far).
Cheers – some good arguments for and against coming through.
I’m not surprised that there is heavy resistance to this idea on this site, but there are a couple of games worthy of discussion in the cinematic mold: Heavy Rain, for instance, is quite an amazing feat of storytelling where the first hour and a half almost progresses like a deliberate character study. And then you find yourself feeling for all the people you’re dealing with, not to mention the gameplay is fluid and is meant to mimic a cinematic experience. Also, a game like Metal Gear Solid 4 is chock-full philosophy that, while not my cup of tea, has brought forth loads of discussions amongst gamers.
Dimitris, it should also be noted just as we may not have seen or are aware of 70% of the movies on this earth, we may also not have heard of or played 70% of the video games on this earth.
Some games, but very few. Games like Call of Duty and Battlefield are in the Kick-Ass category. They’re fun to play, but that is about it. Not to mention, kids think they actually know how war feels through those games which is kinda funny. In all fairness to GTA games, at least they have character studies. It just happens that every character is basically a violent, crack dealer.
And I meant more as art. I don’t think video games are becoming more important than film at all. They’re both different mediums. I think you could compare youtube short film videos and feature film. That is more comparable than video games.
“Dimitris, it should also be noted just as we may not have seen or are aware of 70% of the movies on this earth, we may also not have heard of or played 70% of the video games on this earth.”
are you actually considering that quote just now as valid and open-minded? i HAVE played my share of video-games but i can honestly say even a pro-militia film like Die Hard is 1.000.000 times better than half of the video-game production, since their first conception as video-games!!!!
p.s.: ironically, most games belong to the Western and Japanese productive “culture” i mentioned before, but that was to tease the film fanboyism.
Video games and film are different mediums. Some people prefer painting or dance or the opera over film; many here prefer film over video games. The initial bias makes this thread dead-on-arrival.
Instead of asking if “video games are becoming more important than film,” we should consider if there are video games out there that give us a similar cinematic experience or if there there are video games that we consider a higher caliber of art. Has anyone, for example, played Flower?
but then if we say ‘i can honestly say even a pro-militia film like Die Hard is 1.000.000 times better than half of the video-game production, since their first conception as video-games!!!!’ can we not also say ‘i can honestly say even a pro-philosophical videogame like Metal Gear Solid is 1.000.000 times better than half of the movie production, since their first conception as film!!!!’ – There are, after all, an awful lot of bad films out there.
“a pro-philosophical videogame like Metal Gear Solid”
Snake is a piece of chauvinist shit, borderline homophobic and to top that off, he seems to me as an a-sexual loser. i don’t see much philosophy by the way in a game which has copied almost everything from b-movies of the 70’s.
(in spite of the fact Metal Gear Solid in PS-1 was indeed E-N-T-E-R-T-A-I-N-I-N-G!!!!)
“There are, after all, an awful lot of bad films out there.”
and a lot more masterpieces to be uncovered…..
This is a completely useless statement, although most of this thread is completely useless for arguing two different things, but…
Some of sequences in Gears of War 2 I thought were cinematic, and kind of reminded me of something that could be made at Universal Studios. It was kind of interesting. Although, I thought that game was completely terrible (especially online).
yeah the ‘i can honestly say even a pro-philosophical videogame like Metal Gear Solid is 1.000.000 times better than half of the movie production, since their first conception as film!!!!’ was just used as a kind of juxtoposition of the earlier line ‘i can honestly say even a pro-militia film like Die Hard is 1.000.000 times better than half of the video-game production, since their first conception as video-games!!!!’ – Pro-philosophical is just what I could come up with at short notice – is kinda crap! haha. However MGS is a good example where terms like ‘cinematic’ is bandied about quite a bit. I do quite like a lot of b’movies from the seventies though … ‘Silent Running’, ‘Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry’, ‘Phase IV’ ….