More Information About Me

Simeon Peebler started out in the early 1980s programming his Commodore 64 and making his own games and music when he should have been doing "more appropriate" things. Flash forward to the present day; after years in game development and technology, he works as a game designer and programmer and has been working the last few years in teaching game design and game development at a leading digital arts college in Chicago Tribeca Flashpoint Academy In 2011, Simeon created Brain Bump, a trivia game for the Amazon Kindle. He also has been working on composing original music and songwriting (go to his songwriting site and hear his latest album).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Video Games - What is Art?

To much complaint (or support), Roger Ebert released an opinion last year that video games are not art. I happened to be present at a very public rebuttal of this statement a few weeks ago by Clive Barker, a respected novelist, filmmaker, and game maker, at the Hollywood and Games Conference. Responding to Barker's statement at the conference, Ebert has posted this new opinion piece:

Ebert's main point I think is that he has a feeling that interactivity extinguishes the artist's message, thereby ruining it. The fact that the user can direct his own command of the experience seems to bother Ebert, whereas in "art" he suggests the artist must command the entire thing, enveloping the communication of the experience by injecting it straight into the observer. This of course comes from Ebert, himself a filmmaker and movie freak. My summary may be off base a little, but I think generally that's what Ebert is saying.

Here's my opinion -- my own experience in observing "art" -- in music, literature, visual medium, other any other medium that you can think of -- is that this interactivity exists but it is very much internalized and intellectual. We react to "art" in real-time and therefore are not static recipients of a one-way communication. We continue to connect to what we see and hear and feel not only with continued input through our senses, but now through this additional "mindtrack" of our own making. All art is interactive. It may be internally interactive, intellectually or physically so, but interactive nonetheless.

So games take this intellectual "mindtrack" we superimpose on everything we experience and give it some power. What an amazing advancement for art and for an experience that other humans work so hard to create to make for us to enjoy and learn from and respond to just as the classic mediums we have been used to in the whole of modern human history. It will take another generation to recognize this completely.

No comments: