Daily Archives: 11/01/2011

Are Games Art?

Eurogamer picked up on an interesting discussion between the splendid Charlie Brooker and arts aficionado Ekow Eshun on Radio 4’s Today programme which gets into that old chestnut, “Are Games Art?”




Image via AeroPause.com

The conclusion seems to be no, games don’t yet manage to attain the status of being art, but this isn’t the firmly slammed door that it might first appear.

Ignoring the voice which always accompanies the debate from the gamer side  – ‘I don’t care if games are art or not‘ – it appears that Eshun believes that a great percentage of books, movies and music don’t qualify as art either, and that being entertaining isn’t exactly a crime.  A refreshingly level-headed assessment, I think you’ll agree.

For my own part, I know that I’ve switched my affiliation almost exclusively from films to games when it comes to action and adventure: would you rather see “The Expendables” or play “Battlefield Bad Company 2”?   Have you seen a Hollywood sci-fi movie which had a tenth of the atmosphere woven into every corner and scene of “Metro 2033”, a game which approaches the hallucinatory brilliance of the original novel?

There’s definitely a cross-pollination between the two forms – as Brooker states, Hollywood routinely apes the aesthetics and conventions of games and what is the “Modern Warfare” franchise if not the greatest action adventure film that Michael Bay never made?

Imagine how good games are going to be when they’re not beholden to Hollywood for stuff to rip off – when the medium has the confidence to go beyond it’s influences and use interactive storytelling to provide entertainment experiences which are not simply ‘shoot this, dodge that’ but something more meaningful – a fusion of novelistic storytelling, cinematic spectacle and gaming immersion in a convincing virtual world.

God, imagine what Stanley Kubrick could have done with that tool-set?



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Nokia switch on free Wi-Fi in London…

…because London needs more stuff that the rest of the UK doesn’t get to experience.

Young people, fire up your torrents...

As part of a trial detailed by Bitter Wallet, Nokia are offering free Wi-Fi in Central London until the end of 2011, with a view to switching it on permanently in time for the Olympic Games in 2012.

There’s no doubt that I would love to be able to hop on the interwebs whilst out and about – sometimes you have to know about what random fellow geeks on forums are saying about stuff which really doesn’t matter, even if you’re waiting for the bus – but I get the feeling that such services are inevitably undone by the people who use them.  Any bets on just how long it will be before all manner of wireless malware and nasties are being spread via public access points?

Always looking on the bright side of life, that’s me.

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Another day, another Joss Whedon project…

Hi, happy Tuesday to you.  No sooner have you absorbed the idea that Joss Whedon managed to direct “The Avengers” and then swiftly made a contemporary adaptation of “Much Ado About Nothing” than the news comes of another Whedon project.

More films with Whedon involvement? Yes please.

Empire reports today that Whedon’s micro studio Bellwether Pictures will produce the next film from indie director Brin Hill, a ‘metaphysical romance’ titled “In Your Eyes”.


So, next year sees “The Avengers”, “Cabin In The Woods”, “Much Ado About Nothing” and possibly this too. Not so much a release schedule as an avalanche of awesome.  ‘Does Want’, as I believe some of the meme-addicted young people may have said, some years ago,.


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