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An excoworker mentioned this article to me. It's about how "high… - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
August 13th, 2006
09:14 pm

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An excoworker mentioned this article to me. It's about how "high brow" computer games (and/or "video games", my distinction not really being important to this discussion) don't really exist.

Opera, ballet, Shakespeare retreads, all are vaguely "good for you" entertainment, but we don't really have that in games. Board Games have certain "classier" options. (Settlers of Catan and Ticket To Ride belong to a different category of games than Uno and Monopoly... but perhaps boardgames is a hard comparison to make.)

In the article, computer games are compared to comic books - both media are widely considered to be "kids' entertainment", and to some degree, graphic novels have managed to eke out a bit of respectability for "sequential art". We don't really have much like that on computers or on consoles.


I know there are comic fans reading this, and some people admit to playing games, so you might find the article interesting. I know that for myself, I cringe whenever someone assumes that the consumers of my work are 12 year old kids. (Ok, they happen to be for this project, but...) Seems to me that games should be as varied as film - some for kids, some for adults, some for the whole family, some serious, some insubstantial.)

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From:ginsu
Date:August 14th, 2006 06:44 am (UTC)
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We don't really have much like that on computers or on consoles.

Hmmm. The text adventure has developed into something of an independent art form, complete with annual contests in which awards for writing merit are bestowed; it's just not an art form people are aware of.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xyzzy_Awards

I consider this more legitimate art than a lot of conventional art, since to create it, you really have to know WTF you're talking about in objective, quantifiable ways that can't be faked. The efforts of monkeys sitting in front of keyboards could not subsequently fool experts.
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From:rechercher
Date:August 14th, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC)
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I don't think you can "create" highbrow art. This is because most "highbrow" stuff is "middle class" stuff that has passed the test of time. Shakespeare wrote for the common class and many classical composers wrote to please an audience that had already paid for the composition to be made. Yes, there is highbrow stuff today, but they are all imitations of, or at least inspired by, the old stuff. (Too many commas in that last sentance, but I don't know how to fix it.)

In short, computer games are too young. Someday, Pac-Man may be considered highbrow. If there is a highbrow for computer games, I think it will be the simplified versions that rely more on story, less on graphics, just as ginsu said. But that's just my opinion -- in any case we need more time.

As a recent example of how time can turn the common to be highbrow, take a look at the Beatles. They used to be the commoner's common music, but now they are almost worshipped. I wish I could be around in 100 years. I'll bet they'll be considered highbrow then.
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From:tsmaster
Date:August 14th, 2006 10:45 pm (UTC)
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there is highbrow stuff today, but they are all imitations of, or at least inspired by, the old stuff.

I'll agree with the "inspired by" part, but only insofar as someone serious about their craft will study the history of that craft, and that will inform their subsequent work.

To my way of thinking, highbrow movies come out fairly regularly, and not all of them are costume dramas. It seems to me that we have a distinction between "movies" and "film" - the second being slightly more rarified, probably more serious, and certainly more mature. Most of your Oscar winners, I would contend, qualify as highbrow, including the ones winning in the "Best Original Screenplay" category.

Consider, too, folk music from 100 years or more ago. There are academic studies of rural music, but if you compose a banjo opus today, it'll be a curiosity, rather than a respected artwork.


I have a lot more rambling in a lot more directions on this topic, but I really ought to go back to entertaining 12 year olds.
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