Are Digital Games Art? Are Immersive Virtual Worlds Art? The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones Thinks Not #ArtOrNotArt #SecondLife

I just ran across this, will have to drop it off at SLUniverse and see what develops.

I first encountered this trope of the inappropriate elder’s interest in the newest games a few years ago at a philosophy conference in Oxford University (I was an interloper in those hallowed groves). An aesthetician – a philosopher who specialises in aesthetics – gave a talk on his research into games. He defended them as serious works of art. The art of games, he argued, if I understood him right, lies in their interactive dimension and liberation of shared authorship. But he never answered the question: what was a professor doing playing all these games?

Now the Museum of Modern Art in New York is up to the same manouevre. MoMA has announced that it is to collect and exhibit games from Pong to Minecraft. So, the same museum that owns such great works of art as Ma Jolie by Picasso, Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh and Vir Heroicus Sublimis by Barnett Newman is also to own SimCity, Portal and Dwarf Fortress.

MoMA claims these games belong in its collection because they are art. Really? Is that so?

via Sorry MoMA, video games are not art | Art and design |

Really? Is that so? I’m no artist, but I think there’ s some pretty artistic stuff going on in Second Life, though Jonathan Jones will pooh-pooh the idea. The Guardian article posted a companion gallery of images from or for the exhibition, but didn’t bother to include any images from Second Life as examples of digital-game or immersive-world art. They did include shots from Sim City, EVE-Online, Myst, The Sims, and Portal along with other game screenshots.

I don’t know, but I’ve experienced some pretty breathtaking sights and images in Second Life. Is it art, when it’s a collaboration of the original creator, and a photographer tweaking light and atmosphere settings?

Future Communities Yoke Nuitze

Future Communities, by Yoke Nuitze, on Flickr

You tell me.

I’ve uploaded a set of “arty” photos from Second Life to a set called “Art or Not Art?” on Flickr, and I’d appreciate any comments. They’re just a small selection – but of course a bunch are from my home community, Steelhead. And many are my attempts to document immersive art installations from various Second Life Birthday celebrations.


Are Digital Games Art? Are Immersive Virtual Worlds Art? The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones Thinks Not #ArtOrNotArt #SecondLife — 1 Comment

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