Italian Organization Promotes and Defends Games As Art

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Italian Organization Promotes and Defends Games As Art

Roger Ebert may not think games are art, but the Rome-based Association of Interactive Multimedia Works (AIOMI) disagrees - as seen in a commercial crossing Duck Hunt with the Mona Lisa.

Even as gaming becomes more and more mainstream, it still faces opposition from many who don't game - like famous film critic Roger Ebert, who emphazised his opinion that games could never be art. While some gamers might do our hobby a disservice by responding to these critics with threats and anger - way to prove their point, guys - others seek to engage these critics with a more polite, reasoned approach: "No, you're wrong."

One such organization is the Associazione Italiana Opere Multimediali Interattive (AIOMI) - or Association of Interactive Multimedia Works - an Italian group founded in 2008 and based in Rome. At the core of AIOMI is the term "conscious gamer," created by the group's president Marco Accordi Rickards and defined as "one who makes use passionate, intelligent and informed of the videogame medium.... knows that the game is not only a form of entertainment, but also a means of artistic expression of thought, able to convey messages, ideas and emotions."

The "conscious gamer" isn't a casual gamer or hardcore gamer, but someone who understands the history and culture surrounding games, and is interested in their development as an art form.

AIOMI also makes really snazzy advertisements, like the one seen here. I mean, they are Italian. Those guys practically invented art! Are you really gonna argue with them, Ebert?

(Via Gamepolitics)

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While I applaud the effort by AIOMI, I have a feeling it's a wasted one. The common slob is not going to listen to them, because they probably don't know they exist or couldn't care less if they did. But they will listen to Roger Ebert, because "ZOMG! He's Famous!"

Ebert is welcome to think whatever he likes. I, personally, think he's a very knowledgeable man when it comes to his to field of expertise. But when he tries to cross over his opinions into gaming, he comes off as a pretentious snob. Which probably only makes him more credible to the masses, since we live in a society that not only embraces snobbish celebrity arrogance, it practically obsesses over it.

My thoughts? There are probably not many games that currently qualify as artistic. But I believes the potential for artistic games are there and that could be reached with some dedicated effort. On a similar note, I don't see how much of cinema or television qualifies as art either unless you are using an amazingly loose definition of the term. If you think something like "Tim and Eric Awful Show" or "Mars Attacks!" qualifies as art, then you probably need to rethink your standards.

I don't mind comments and critiques either that support or contradict gaming as an art. I find it promising that it promotes discussion so in some way I'm glad Ebert made the comments.

I don't really care one way or another about Ebert's game opinions, but I do think the advert is really well done. It's clever and funny but manages to remain minimalist.
The problem of 'art' is that it's so damn subjective that nobody will ever agree on whether something is art or not. It's impossible to define, so why bother?

I am delightfully amused.

I mean, they are Italian. Those guys practically invented art!

Aww damn you stole the remark I was gonna make. But still I'm glad at least the Italians are on our side.

Sir John The Net Knight:
If you think something like "Tim and Eric Awful Show" or "Mars Attacks!" qualifies as art, then you probably need to rethink your standards.

Nobody specified that it has to be *good* art.

jmoore4ska:

Sir John The Net Knight:
If you think something like "Tim and Eric Awful Show" or "Mars Attacks!" qualifies as art, then you probably need to rethink your standards.

Nobody specified that it has to be *good* art.

Hastily thrown together stupidity does not count as art. I would no more quantify such works as art than I would a page full of formless scribbles made by a toddler.

Trust the Italians to do something like this, but, I mean that in the most positive terms.

Goes to show there are supporters and haters all around, and some coming from the most unexpected places.

I totally agree though, they are art, and, anyone who disagrees needs to get there head examined

I say good job to the Italian dudes.

There is so much potential(and fun) with gaming as an art.

Zomg :) Duck hunt, that's the game with the plastic infa red gun plug into your telly and play yes? I used to love the Clay Pidgeon Game on it ;) Though I found the snickering dog really annoying.

I can see the results of this now:

"Wah! He's pointing a gun at Mona Lisa's head! Video game violence is already a serious issue, and now this ad is promoting violence toward real art! Wah!"

Sir John The Net Knight:

jmoore4ska:

Sir John The Net Knight:
If you think something like "Tim and Eric Awful Show" or "Mars Attacks!" qualifies as art, then you probably need to rethink your standards.

Nobody specified that it has to be *good* art.

Hastily thrown together stupidity does not count as art. I would no more quantify such works as art than I would a page full of formless scribbles made by a toddler.

art is everything. You know... there is such a thing as bad art. It's still "art" nonetheless just not good enough to be worth anyone's time or money or whatever.

The Undoer:
Zomg :) Duck hunt, that's the game with the plastic infa red gun plug into your telly and play yes? I used to love the Clay Pidgeon Game on it ;) Though I found the snickering dog really annoying.

They should have made Mona Lisa snicker. She's always smiling anyway.

I think games are a medium. Potentially it could produce art, but I don't think we're likely to ever know for a long time.

Truthfully the gaming medium has to create something that is enduring, and really that means we probably won't be able to judge in our lifetimes. If something created now is still preserved and appreciated in like a hundred years... well I'll agree it succeeded, but until we see it creating anything lasting as opposed to totally transient, I am increasingly leaning towards agreeing with Roger Ebert's statement, if not his reasons or justifications.

Unlike Robert Ebert I think it's an absolute certainy that we'll see games that become art, BUT I do agree with his general statement that we'll never see it confirmed in our lifetime.

I believe it's lasting appeal and relevency that defines art to be honest, and this is also one of the reasons why I have so little respect for most "performance art" in general and most "modern art" because I honestly don't think something can truely become an enduring part of culture so soon after it's created.

When it comes to performance art, I'm not talking about plays generally. As Shakespeare has proven plays can become art and be performed again and again through history and accross generations. However some guy coming out and acting like a dweeb on a stage and say urinating on an American Flag is not creating art, he's just being gross and offensive. You aren't going to see hundreds of imitators, and people centuries later urinating on American Flags because it carries some kind of timeless meaning that can be appreciated. The world is totalyl differant than when Shakespeare wrote, but his stories were timeless. Urinating on an American flag would have no meaning if say there was no America anymore.

Great commercial, silly debate. Ebert doesn't know or understand much about gaming. He obviously doesn't care to learn. Let him dwell in his ignorance. Anything else is just a waste of breath.

I salute these Italian artists for their open mindedness, but i hope their intentions are pure.

But to make a stand, i thank thee. When the day gaming and game making can finally be considered as mainstream art arrives, we invite you to the great feast!! There would be merrymaking...

Sorry kind got high on that last one, but i salute these guys...

Shockolate:
I am delightfully amused.

Dammit! Ninja'd!
PS:Love your avatar

That phrase really needs so come into common parlance. "Conscious gamer" is such a better term than "hardcore" or "casual" gamer.

Pesto is art IMHO.

Burningsok:

Sir John The Net Knight:

Hastily thrown together stupidity does not count as art. I would no more quantify such works as art than I would a page full of formless scribbles made by a toddler.

art is everything. You know... there is such a thing as bad art. It's still "art" nonetheless just not good enough to be worth anyone's time or money or whatever.

That is my opinion on the matter. I think that art needs to be held to a higher standard than that. You're welcome to think whatever you choose to, though.

That was a cool little video!

I love creative short films!

Gaming in its current state hardly qualifies as being truly art (with the occasional exception), but I will never ever say that games can't be art. That's where Ebert is wrong, one day, games will be another means of pure expression.

Honestly, I think this video conveys the message 'Games are art'much better:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcv6dv_pixels-by-patrick-jean_creation?start=1

Gaming is certainly, at least potentially, an art form. Gaming presents a completely different experience from that of books or movies, the experience of control, of being the person involved. They can convey horror in ways that horror movies can only convey startles. There really is an experience to it that goes beyond what this pretentious critics have to say, these Italian guys know where it's at.

Sir John The Net Knight:

jmoore4ska:

Sir John The Net Knight:
If you think something like "Tim and Eric Awful Show" or "Mars Attacks!" qualifies as art, then you probably need to rethink your standards.

Nobody specified that it has to be *good* art.

Hastily thrown together stupidity does not count as art. I would no more quantify such works as art than I would a page full of formless scribbles made by a toddler.

So, then, this doesn't count as art?

OT: Yes, gaming is an artform, but how much actually survives the test of time has yet to be seen. Sure, it might be art now, but individual works still can lose relevance in the next 30 years. I mean, da Vinci wasn't the only artist of his time; Rome used to be the center of the art world, then Paris, and now New York. How many artists lived in those places at any one time?

I salute their efforts, as everyone on this site I think, but man, could they have come up with a weirder way to say so? It's a monochromatic bloodstained jacket away from a PS3 ad.

Plus, you don't do a Duck Hunt reference and neglect to mention the dog. It's just bad form.

(I studied Marketing Communication and I'm told that Italian ad agencies are one of the worst in the developed world, so there's that.)

That's awesome.

That was preety funny, i liked it.

We need something like this in the USofA.

These Italian guys are awesome. Although I know this is silly, I am actually proud I ate Pizza today.

I agree with many of the above posters: games are a medium and can potentially be art. I don't think most of them are today. I also think most of them are going in the wrong direction: trying to imitate other media (mostly movies). But, to be fair it took a long time for written stories to get away from the conventions of oral storytelling, a while for film & TV to break away from just imitating theatre, and several years for comics to break away from the newspaper strip format. So I'm hopeful eventually video games will break out as a truly standalone medium.

adderseal:
The problem of 'art' is that it's so damn subjective that nobody will ever agree on whether something is art or not. It's impossible to define, so why bother?

A lot of things are subjective. Good and bad are subjective. However, "wrong" is pretty set in stone. Ebert, in this case, is "wrong". You cannot dismiss an entire medium and make such gross generalisations about them. It doesn't work like that. If I saw a movie like "American Pie" and thought, "Oh man movies are really shallow, I didn't connect with it at all; therefore movies cannot be art," then that'd be making some sort of horrible generalisation.

Honestly, if Ebert is blind to this, he's a completely arrogant, ignorant fool. Otherwise, he's a damn good troll.

I was half expecting the guy to miss one duck and the Mono Lisa to do that dog's mocking laugh

jmoore4ska:

Sir John The Net Knight:
If you think something like "Tim and Eric Awful Show" or "Mars Attacks!" qualifies as art, then you probably need to rethink your standards.

Nobody specified that it has to be *good* art.

But who can say that any art is good, It's all in the eye of the viewer, Two people can look at a piece of art and have completley different opinions of it.

Theres no such thing as bad art, well at last to me there isn't :P

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