Entries in art (5)


Dear Esther review - A mesmerizing journey

I crest the top of the hill slowly. A distant lighthouse comes into view, dirty white against a grey sky. Seagulls cry and a brisk wind disturbs the overgrown foliage on this forgotten path. The sun is slowly sinking behind the cliff, the last of its rays reflecting off of the water that spreads endlessly in every direction. A large radio tower, out of place amidst the remote desolation, beckons me with its soft pulsating light.

As I continue to make my way forward, always at a measured pace, I stop frequently to take in the incredible details of the landscape surrounding me. Never before have I encountered such an enchanting locale. Its sheer beauty is nothing less than stunning. Without saying a word it manages to be powerful and descriptive.

My journey tells me the story of a man who has long been lost.

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Child of Eden Review: An Interactive Artistic Masterpiece

Child of Eden is one of the most fully realized instances of interactive art the gaming world has yet seen. Labeling it as simply a “video game” seems to do it an injustice somehow. It clearly strives to be something more; to convey a message, to impart a certain feeling upon the player unlike any lowly game they’ve ever played before.

However successful it may be in these attempts, Child of Eden’s artistic aspirations are also worthy of note for more pragmatic reasons. When viewed as a $50 piece of art that uses a controller, an HDTV, and a good sound system as its mediums, the experience is untouchable. There’s simply nothing else like it available today. Playing it transports you to another world, another mindset. It’s a magical experience that you can relive over and over again, just like getting lost in the depths of a good painting.

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Best of the Decade: Limbo


Platform: Xbox 360

Release Date: July 21, 2010

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Developer: Playdead Studios

I think most who hold the hobby of gaming close to their heart would agree that the medium is perfectly capable of being considered art. When it comes time to decide which games constitute art, consensus is decidedly less clear. Outside of a few select titles that seem to pop up repeatedly in such discussions, such as Shadow of the Colossus, I’m not sure most gamers know what an “artistic” game is supposed to look like.

Should we look to games like Heavy Rain, which aspires as much as is possible to be a film, for our example? Should we turn to games like Flower, which dispense with most recognizable aspects of being a game at all in favor of being visually interesting and delivering a strong message? Or is the answer somewhere in between?

I think with Limbo we’re a step closer to knowing. Of course, as with any type of art, there isn’t simply one easy definition. Looking at games like Shadow of the Colossus and Limbo, however, it does become clearer what is required on a fundamental level to be both a game and art.


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Best of the Decade: Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus

Platform: Playstation 2

Release Date: October 18, 2005

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Developer: Team Ico

Whenever the overplayed argument over whether or not games are art gets dragged out for another flogging, there’s one title in particular that never fails to come up in the discussion. It’s certainly not the only title that gets put forth as an example of a game that does something more than mindlessly entertain, but it does seem to be the most consistently mentioned.

Though I will celebrate another title or two before this list is complete that I feel stand alongside it as the industry’s most museum-worthy productions to date, Shadow of the Colossus undoubtedly deserves to be recognized as a standout effort that truly represents the best of what this medium has to offer in terms of interactive emotion.

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Movies Can Never Be Art - So Says Me

Author's note: If you read more than a couple lines of this and don't realize I'm being facetious, then please go away. This article is a deliberate parody wherein I try my damndest to sound and monumentally stupid as I think Roger Ebert does in his blog post where he argues that games can never be art. No, I'm not going to link to his article because he's a closed-minded, out-of-touch hack that doesn't deserve the meager traffic I wouldn't send his way because no one reads this website.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that I’m vastly more intelligent than everyone else I’ve ever met. 

I mean, obviously. 

So it stands to reason that my opinion is the only one that actually matters. You’re welcome to consider it pretty much the textbook that defines our world. I highly encourage you to compare your own opinions to mine and see where you’re wrong. There are bound to be plenty of areas in which your opinion needs correcting, and nobody wants you to look like a misguided fool by showing the public that you disagree with me.

Maybe I should provide a handy checklist.

Nah, that would probably take too long.

Anyhow, I have recently had an amazing revelation that I knew I just had to share with the world. It has changed the way I view both art and entertainment. It has altered how I perceive the world around me. It had added an entirely new category onto the list of things which I do not understand and therefore rightfully despise. 

More importantly, it has kept me from having to waste any of my precious time watching those blasted moving picture thingamajigs. Anyone who spends their time watching fake people do fake things in a fake world according to the whim of some poor joke of a “writer”, who probably spends most of his meager salary on brownies and marijuana that he consumes in rabid binges while pretending that he doesn’t need any of that “human contact” that he’s heard so much about, is clearly a moron.

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