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Author Topic: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.  (Read 22089 times)

philosopherqueen

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dennis

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #1 on: 24 Dec 2006, 12:00 »

Yes. The radio stations themselves are a standalone commentary on society's issues.
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Rizzo

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #2 on: 24 Dec 2006, 12:21 »

Yes. Yes it is.
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #3 on: 24 Dec 2006, 12:44 »

The GTA series as a whole is way deeper and more satirical than people give Rockstar credit for.

And Bully is doubly so, where Rockstar actually needled and taunted the anti-video game lobbyists until they released the game and it actually turned out to have one of the most positive messages in all of video games.
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Storm Rider

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #4 on: 24 Dec 2006, 13:02 »

Personally, I find the political statements in GTA more interesting than the actual gameplay.
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #5 on: 24 Dec 2006, 14:11 »

I spend my time in GTA driving around doing jumps and listening to the radio. Missions are rare.
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ScrambledGregs

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #6 on: 24 Dec 2006, 20:17 »

Misunderstood?? Yes. An art masterpiece?? No.
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #7 on: 24 Dec 2006, 20:28 »

That's the kind of attitude that computer games are used to - being dismissed out of hand as not being art. A rotting cow's head with flies and maggots can be art, but a beautifully created and entertaining satire of modern culture can't? Why not?
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mqarcus

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #8 on: 25 Dec 2006, 00:07 »

Of course, it has a message, that's a great aspect of these games.

These games are deeper than one may think, and at the same moment great entertainment.
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Storm Rider

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #9 on: 25 Dec 2006, 04:44 »

Man, if Yoko Ono can put a fucking apple on a glass pedestal and call it art, why the hell is Okami somehow out of that range?
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Johnny C

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #10 on: 25 Dec 2006, 04:51 »

Okami and Shadow Of The Colossus and all of those superb, unique, beautiful masterpieces are somewhat different from the cash cow that GTA represents.
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mqarcus

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #11 on: 25 Dec 2006, 04:54 »

Well, that's because Okami is beautiful while GTA is provoking, and comparing these won't give anything. GTA made tons of cash being somewhat iriginal, violent and - a satire of popular culture, while Okami - is not.
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #12 on: 25 Dec 2006, 04:57 »

I suppose "Last Action Hero" is high art then.
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mqarcus

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #13 on: 25 Dec 2006, 04:59 »

Of course ;D

Nah, but I guess you got my point. No one has ever done something like that before, not on that platform, and so on. I don't say it's art, I say it's good entertainment, and a little deeper than one may think.
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #14 on: 25 Dec 2006, 05:15 »

I was actually more referring to the dismissal of video games in general as art, rather than GTA specifically. I'm not sure where I stand on GTA being called art. On one hand, it is genuinely funny satire. On the other, they've pumped out 3 games that are more or less exactly the same (5, if you count the two PSP spinoffs), and rake in obscene amounts of cash just because they're making games that let you beat up prostitutes. Nobody buys GTA for the humor, unfortunately.

What really pisses me off is how people say the thing that they like about GTA is the 'realism'. Sure, the game more or less lets you do whatever you want, but when's the last time somebody took a machine gun to an entire block of pedestrians, ran into a deserted garage, changed clothes, and got away without a second glance?
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Rubby

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #15 on: 25 Dec 2006, 05:25 »

No one seems to remember those old GTA games where it was an overhead view and it was only for PC.
Remember those?
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mqarcus

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #16 on: 25 Dec 2006, 05:26 »

Well, I'm not sure if I can say any video game is art. I speak from a pretty traditionalist point of view.

And about the humor: Actually I bought the last part for the humor.  :-o :-D
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #17 on: 25 Dec 2006, 08:05 »

So we're settled that Okami is art, then? Good.
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #18 on: 25 Dec 2006, 10:07 »

Aside from being art, the game is freaking great.

Seriously, go buy it. You're too late, since the developer's already been shut down, but buy it anyway. Now.
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ackblom12

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #19 on: 25 Dec 2006, 14:28 »

No one seems to remember those old GTA games where it was an overhead view and it was only for PC.
Remember those?

I still have the CD for GTA 1 and the London Expansion. They certainly keep my attention a lot better than any of the 3D GTAs have.
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ScrambledGregs

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #20 on: 25 Dec 2006, 20:57 »

I do think video games can be art, but *if* GTA is art, then it's not the kind of art I want to use to convince the skeptical that video games can be art.
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Will

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #21 on: 26 Dec 2006, 07:32 »

No one seems to remember those old GTA games where it was an overhead view and it was only for PC.
Remember those?

You can actually download the full version of these games for free from Rockstar's website if you go to their downloads page.

I don't think this franchise is a masterpiece.  I think it's brilliant on several different levels, and misunderstood, sure, but I can't call it a masterpiece.
« Last Edit: 26 Dec 2006, 07:35 by 10101110 »
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KharBevNor

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #22 on: 26 Dec 2006, 11:28 »

I do think video games can be art, but *if* GTA is art, then it's not the kind of art I want to use to convince the skeptical that video games can be art.

If GTA is not art, then it is an art gallery in which the work of  3D modellers, texture artists, voice actors, script-writers, animators and so on is displayed. Which would you rather? I wouldn't call pong or space invaders art: they're pure games. However, by this point in the history of computer games, like the early evolution of film from things like Train Pulling In To a Station, we have arrived at a sophisticated medium combining the work of multiple creative proffessionals, capable of providing a coherent commentary on the world.

The mistake people often make with art is assuming that for something to actually be 'art' it has to be something of a high standard. Not true. The line-drawings in a childrens colouring book are as much art as the Mona Lisa.
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mqarcus

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #23 on: 26 Dec 2006, 17:03 »

Well, that arises the question - can you generally call video games art? Are all video games art? Are all movies art?
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KharBevNor

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #24 on: 26 Dec 2006, 18:47 »

To answer the last question, yes. If photographs are art, and they are, then how the shit can a film not be art?

To answer the first, no. Not all computer games are art. Some are just games spruced up with art. It's probably not until the SNES era where I'd really start to call computer games art.
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Will

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #25 on: 26 Dec 2006, 19:39 »

It wasn't too long ago, it seems, that no one who did digital manipulations in, say, Photoshop, would have been considered an artist either, and yet now in some art galleries, you see entire displays dedicated to digital prints and the like.  It seems to me that there's an especially strong bias in the arts community against those things, however artisticallly valuable they may be, that come from what may seem like "nerdy" backgrounds; a sense of "if it was done on a computer, it's not real art."  Maybe this is rooted in the same line of thought that produces the analog vs. digital argument in sound?

I wonder if the backlash against computer games as art, or Photoshopping, or whatnot, stem from some people's desire to keep the title of "Artist" exclusive to a sacred few.  For how many years, art was something that only a select few people could create, but anymore, anyone with a few extra bucks to buy some (relatively) cheap equipment can do it.  Anyone that can figure out how to post on a blog can call themselves a writer, anyone with a digital camera and a Flickr account is a photographer, anyone who can play a few chords on a guitar is a musician.  I'm not saying this is inherently bad per se, but modern technology seems to have bridged a HUGE gap that once existed between the "artist" and the "common man."  Is it possible, then, that the arguments against certain forms of art, are nothing but sour grapes?

If I'm not mistaken, Joe Hocking is a game designer; I'd be interested to hear his opinion on the subject.
« Last Edit: 26 Dec 2006, 19:42 by 10101110 »
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KharBevNor

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #26 on: 26 Dec 2006, 20:04 »

The bias against digital art exists still in the fine art/art for arts sake/what not world. In the field of graphics the use of computers is obligatory, and now there's a back-lash to more traditional methods. I mean, you go to study graphics at Brighton or Bournemouth, you're lucky to see a sheet of paper. That said, a lot of people on my course, despite being far, far more trendy than me (My ambition, at the end of the day, is to be a fantasy illustrator), even the graphics students, spend most of their time fucking around with mountains of newspaper clippings, a photocopier, cellulose thinner, letraset, a light box and goodness knows what else.

You know, I suppose the fact that I am studying to enter the world of commercial art, rather than arty art, probably informs the wide range of things I would call art.
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Johnny C

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #27 on: 27 Dec 2006, 01:05 »

Your last sentence is why I disagree with you on GTA as an art gallery. It's not. If it's anything for those modellers, animators, etc., it's more of a trade fair or an industry showcase than an art gallery. There are a lot of games I would definitely consider to be art but GTA is at most remarkably intelligent camp. Which isn't to say it's bad, because there are a lot of campy movies, books and the like which are very good. But it's not art.
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Mnementh

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #28 on: 27 Dec 2006, 01:52 »

Art is fairly subjective, but part of why I think this game fails as any sort of commentary on poverty, politics, and economics is because it isn't perceived as art.

That problem probably pales in comparison to the fact that its market isn't a crowd that will get it. For the most part people playing this are either too young, just there to blow off steam with some video games, or apathetic to the message.  They'll mow down a crowded street full of civilians and tool around stealing cars for the testosterone high the game gives them, and I doubt very many people stop to consider how it reflects on the socioeconomic realities of modern life.  Just the fact that they're playing the game generally means that they've never had to experience the desperation of poverty that can drive someone to crime and to kill.

By way of comparison, Springsteen's Johnny 99:

Well they closed down the auto plant in Mahwah late that month
Ralph went out lookin' for a job but he couldn't find none
He came home too drunk from mixin'Tanqueray and wine
He got a gun shot a night clerk now they call'm Johnny 99

Down in the part of town where when you hit a red light you don't stop
Johnny's wavin' his gun around and threatenin' to blow his top
When an off duty cop snuck up on him from behind
Out in front of the Club Tip Top they slapped the cuffs on Johnny 99

Well the city supplied a public defender but the judge was Mean John Brown
He came into the courtroom and stared young Johnny down
Well the evidence is clear gonna let the sentence son fit the crime
Prison for 98 and a year and we'll call it even Johnny 99

A fistfight broke out in the courtroom they had to drag Johnny's girl away
His mama stood up and shouted "Judge don't take my boy this way"
Well son you got a statement you'd like to make
Before the bailiff comes to forever take you away

Now judge judge I had debts no honest man could pay
The bank was holdin' my mortgage and they was takin' my house away
Now I ain't sayin' that makes me an innocent man
But it was more 'n all this that put that gun in my hand

Well your honor I do believe I'd be better off dead
And if you can take a man's life for the thoughts that's in his head
Then won't you sit back in that chair and think it over judge one more time
And let 'em shave off my hair and put me on that execution line
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ackblom12

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #29 on: 27 Dec 2006, 01:53 »

Of course I see no reason as to why art made for profit should not be considered art. If it isn't then many of the old commissioned pieces by some of the greats would be nothing more than trade paintings, but definitely are not considered so by anyone that doesn't want to sound like an ass.
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KharBevNor

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #30 on: 27 Dec 2006, 01:58 »

Your last sentence is why I disagree with you on GTA as an art gallery. It's not. If it's anything for those modellers, animators, etc., it's more of a trade fair or an industry showcase than an art gallery.

The OED, among its 17 definitions of the word 'art', mentions the following:

"The application of skill to the arts of imitation and design"

"Anything in which skill may be attained or displayed"

"An Industrial pursuit or employment of a skilled nature"

As if there's any real difference between an art gallery or trade show anyway: exhibitions, if they are not being used to directly sell pictures, are anyway used to promote an artists 'brand' and make money via admission, with but a few exceptions (I'm thinking of cultural collections like the Tate or the Louvre, which are more museums of art, and private collections, which even then may be, as with Hirsts latest exhibition, show-offs of the taste and curatorial skills of whoever put it together). Because somethings 'camp' doesn't mean its not art, it just means its not quite up there with the Mona Lisa and Bergman films. There are countless pieces of fantastic, widely respected art that were done on commission, and there's some brilliant artists doing mainly commercial work. You want to say that Milton Glaser isn't an artist because he does advertising? The distinction is not between art and not art, but good art and bad art. To suppose that there is some mystical boundary of quality where something transcends to the status of being art is sheer elitism.
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Johnny C

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #31 on: 27 Dec 2006, 02:29 »

The distinction is not between art and not art, but good art and bad art.

I don't know, I get a little queasy saying that because something exists the simple act of bringing it into creation makes it art. I don't think it's a matter of "good" and "bad," I think there needs to be a line, however subjective, where art begins; otherwise, there's no reason you couldn't just waltz into a gallery and put up a bunch of liquor and cigarette and tampon and mutual fund advertisements. Those use contrast and tone and composition really effectively because they're meant to look compelling. If you call them art, however, I might get fairly pissed off.
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ScrambledGregs

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #32 on: 27 Dec 2006, 05:47 »

Shouldn't video games being art or not art be judged on a different 'scale' (for lack of a better word) than other forms of art??
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KharBevNor

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #33 on: 27 Dec 2006, 06:53 »

otherwise, there's no reason you couldn't just waltz into a gallery and put up a bunch of liquor and cigarette and tampon and mutual fund advertisements.

How, er, how often do you go to art galleries?

@ Scrambled: not really. Well. I think the line where video games became (become?) art is when they actually start telling a story, when you have graphics and characterisation and what not. Basically, where they start being more an artistic endeavour, an interactive story, than mathematical exercises. Spacewar! and the Game of Life aren't art. GTA III, and a lot of other modern games, are. Not all modern games, but a lot of them, for various reasons. Right now, I can't think of a clear boundary, but if you mention any game, I could definitely make a judgement, and explain my reasoning, as I see it.
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Ozymandias

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #34 on: 27 Dec 2006, 07:50 »

...I think you could make a good case for Life being art, actually.

Spacewar! would be more difficult.
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #35 on: 27 Dec 2006, 07:58 »

I programmed Life in RPG Maker 2003 once.

One of the more pointless ways I have ever wasted four or five hours.
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #36 on: 27 Dec 2006, 08:12 »

What about this?
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #37 on: 27 Dec 2006, 17:58 »

That's purely entertainment. I wouldn't say entertainment isn't art, it's just art I generally don't care about.

I consider 'proper' art to be something that puts across an idea or causes a reaction from the viewer.
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mqarcus

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #38 on: 27 Dec 2006, 18:25 »

To answer the last question, yes. If photographs are art, and they are, then how the shit can a film not be art?

To answer the first, no. Not all computer games are art. Some are just games spruced up with art. It's probably not until the SNES era where I'd really start to call computer games art.

You don't have to attack me, it was a rethorical question.

What I mean is that I don't think you can say some games / films are art and some are not. If one game is considered art, then the whole medium should be. And I don't think video games have come to that level yet.
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #39 on: 28 Dec 2006, 08:59 »

I consider 'proper' art to be something that puts across an idea or causes a reaction from the viewer.

This is a good point, I think.

Khar, I go to galleries often enough, and actually at one of my local galleries there's an exhibition about comedy in recent art that uses media like advertisments, including one Native American-done piece that essentially consists of repetition of the Big Chief Beef Jerky logo. However when something like that is put up there's something behind it. I suggested, and you probably knew this, a scenario in which those advertisements were simply put up as is and required nothing but being aesthetically pleasing.

I'd identify the former more than the latter, Dan; either that, or it inspires the viewer somehow. Looking on my desk there is a lot of stuff which has been aesthetically designed, from what I'm wearing to the picture on my can of apple juice to the drawing of a dude drinking a draught on the beer stein we keep pens in, but I wouldn't necessarily call it "proper" art.
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KharBevNor

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #40 on: 28 Dec 2006, 09:15 »

Yeah, I was making a flippant cheap shot at modern art, more than a serious point. I still maintain, however, that there is nothing that inherently makes a logo or an advertisment less of an artistic endeavour than a painting.
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The Cosmic Fool

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #41 on: 28 Dec 2006, 09:59 »

I stand on the art camp here. GTA portrays how things really stack up. Murder, money and drugs are all realities of living in the modern world.
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Johnny C

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #42 on: 29 Dec 2006, 00:12 »

Really? Running down an entire fleet of prostitutes and then dodging the police by changing your clothes is a reality of the modern world?
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #43 on: 29 Dec 2006, 00:29 »

It's a game, not a simulation. It represents things in the real world somewhat abstractly, because to be honest, real life is not a fun game to play. (Take, for example, The Sims.)
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #44 on: 29 Dec 2006, 03:00 »

Really? Running down an entire fleet of prostitutes and then dodging the police by changing your clothes is a reality of the modern world?

Prostitutes disappear and most people don't even care, running down an entire fleet of prostitutes may be an exaggeration but there may be some truth to it.  The whole getting your car repainted may be a nod back to chop shops, stolen cars go in, stripped, exterior parts are repainted and then sold. 

Gameplay is very important, because who gives a damn if you have a message buried in the game if it's not fun.  If the games not fun then no one hears the message.
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dennis

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #45 on: 29 Dec 2006, 03:40 »

People murder prostitutes all the time and get away with it in real life. If Americans cared about prostitutes, they would make prostitution legal here.
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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #46 on: 29 Dec 2006, 03:47 »

But then that would encourage them to do dirty things like have sex.

Is that the kind of attitude you want to instill in our children, Dennis?
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Johnny C

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #47 on: 29 Dec 2006, 05:22 »

I think you guys must be playing GTA differently from every other person I've met. Simulation or no, I would not define Grand Theft Auto's overall depiction of the human experience as having laser-like precision. In fact the exaggeration is what makes it fun.

I'm not sure why we're arguing about this when there are so many good, inarguably artistic games out there.
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mqarcus

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #48 on: 29 Dec 2006, 05:24 »

It's a game, not a simulation. It represents things in the real world somewhat abstractly, because to be honest, real life is not a fun game to play. (Take, for example, The Sims.)

Speaking 'bout The Sims, I just "woke up" and realized I had been playing for 4 hours...
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NiMRoD420

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Re: A misunderstood masterpiece of mainstream political art.
« Reply #49 on: 29 Dec 2006, 06:45 »

Of course video games can be art... they're mixed media.
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