20th Century Tech: Revolutionizing Life with the Personal Computer - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-11-14
20th Century Tech: Revolutionizing Life with the Personal Computer - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  History Video games Computer science Technology
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1863 words
16 min read


The technological advancements of the 20th century have revolutionized many life aspects. Among the most influential technological inventions is the personal computer. The personal computer has changed the way people communicate and interact with each other. The invention of the electronic mail has enabled people to send and receive messages instantly. Moreover, computers have automated most tasks and eased human labour. Also, computers have brought changes in the art world. Computers have created new ways of creative expression. Video games leverages technology to make artistic expressions.

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The primary question to be answered is whether video games can now be categorized as an art form. Moreover, an exposition of whether there are some aspects in explaining art or video games that can potentially preclude video games from becoming an art will be done. Also, an explanation of the limits of art and video games definitions will be done.

This dissertation is organized into three distinct sections. First, the work will focus on already existing knowledge about art and video games. The definition of video games will be dissected, and the boundaries will be set for each term. Secondly, the dissertation will define the various meanings of art. An attempt will be made to find the boundaries on what can be termed as art and what cannot be considered as art by definition. Video games will be compared to the history of cinema. However, the comparison will take a small part of the dissertation since it is extensive. Finally, two different games will be analyzed, dissecting them, and conclude whether they can be termed as art forms. In the discussions, video games will be situated in the world of art, and the future of video games as art forms will be highlighted.

Video games can be defined as “a game played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program on a monitor or other display medium"(Dictionary and Street, 2019, p 987). However, the definition is very broad. One needs to understand further the meaning of a video game. Solarski (2017, p.32) says that a video game is a software played on a monitor, has player interaction, and provides a challenge that the player needs to solve. A video game may not necessarily be for fun; it may create discomfort and stress. However, the state of comfort and achievement, in the end, is what motivates one to play.

` Art is traditionally known as any piece of work falling under the five classical forms: architecture, poetry, sculpture, music, and painting. Other artistic forms, such as films and literature, have been accepted as artwork since they have classical forms elements. Art passes the desired message using a medium. Thus, the various types of art are expressions of an artist's mind and feelings. Art forms such as sculpture and painting express the feelings of an artist through a visual representation. Art is defined as "the use of skill and imagination in creating aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences shared with others. The definition is fitting to the video games (Solarski, 2017, p.13).

The creation of a video game is a combination of other art forms. Video games amalgamate aspects of music, ocular arts, and literary narratives. Moreover, video gains use concentrated and pragmatic graphics to create a precise simulation of actuality that players can get interactions. For instance, one of the highest-selling games in 2013, "Grand Theft Auto V," contains intricate roads, houses, and malls with painstakingly crafted details (Solarski, 2017, p.13). The game is developed such that a player can be absorbed in the hideout against the authorities after committing crimes. The game developers have created clear flower lawns for an offender to the hideout. Visually, the game is so intriguing that a player can easily rest in the open fields and flower laws to hide from the authorities.

Game developers hire musicians to compose soundtracks and enhance the game’s visual experience. In the design of video games, sound and music work on the player's subconscious mind to increase tension, improve the mood, and draw one closer to the gaming world inexorably (Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Smith, and Tosca, 2019, p.46). Games incorporate music in their work to manipulate the emotional reactions of the player. Moreover, video game music has broad scope impacts. Some video game music has been played in concerts in different parts of the world. Thus, music is a significant aspect of a video game.

Some video games contain narratives. One of the integral parts of any form of art is the narrative aspect. Although some games lack a cohesive story that would be found in other works of art, the incorporation of narratives in some games further enhances a video game's artistic properties. The game developers that incorporate narratives in their games understand the working of the human mind. Game developers know that the human life is tied to playing and storytelling. Thus, including a narrative in a video game helps to make it more appealing to the player.

Storytelling is a fundamental aspect of human life. Since the evolution of hominids, human beings have been passing on stories between generations. Moreover, playing an essential element of human beings. When human beings are tired, they play to relax the mind and gain rejuvenation for the next activity. Playing helps humans to learn new things, and stories help in the absorption of the learned ideas. Thus, game producers have capitalized into turning even the most boring games into exciting art forms through narrations.

Literature Review

Matthew Gallant, a game designer, asserts that video game is a software product that provides amusement and a challenge for the player to solve. The video game is played on a screen. Keith Stuart argues that a video game not only causes the player to be amused but also can lead to stress and frustrations (Stuart, 2016). Some games are violent and often disturbing, but the player plays for purposes of satisfaction. Jesper Juul, a games researcher, recognizes six common features in a game. Juul says that a game should be a system of rules with changeable and quantifiable results (Stuart, 2016). The different results are assigned distinct values in a game.Moreover, in a game, the player applies some effort to control the outcomes. Also, the player is emotionally connected to the game. The player interacts with the game, and each activity performed is nonobligatory and negotiable.

The consequences of the activities conducted when playing video games are optional and negotiable. Negotiability, in this case, means that the game's actual effects do not lead to physical harm to the player. Moreover, games are voluntary activities. During video games, the computer upholds the rules rather than the players. Additionally, the computer decides the game's outcomes as it makes the calculations such that the game is not bound to a particular time or place.

A video game is played on an audiovisual device, which can be accompanied by a narrative. The aspect of playing differentiates video games from other computing forms. Moreover, computer games cause emotions on the players as they are immersed in finding a solution to the challenge. In video games, players are expected to perform some activities instead of other artworks, such as music and films, where people sit down to watch or listen. A video game is a simulation in a virtual system. The player performs the actions virtually. The manipulation of virtual elements accompanied by the game rules creates gameplay (Stuart, 2016). Gameplay refers to the dynamics that occur at the intermediary of game rules and geography. The game rules and the geography create the competition making it enjoyable, thus leading to a sense of fulfilment.

One of the critical aspects of video gameplay is immersion. Immersion can be categorized into three forms. The gameplay experience and interactivity is the primary cause of immersion. For example, the audiovisual game display is connected to sensory immersion. The players are thus immersed in the game's virtual reality. Additionally, a game players experience challenge-based immersed. Thus, the players are engaged in a situation where they want to provide the solutions within a short time. The player plays the game faster, trying to observe the set rules to win the challenge. Also, players experience imaginative immersion, just like in literature, where a reader is immersed in the story. Novels and films have similar forms of immersion.

Art as an English word primarily means any profession that requires skills. Oxford dictionary defines art as "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power"(Dictionary and Street, 2019,p 650). The dictionary definition implies cognitive and intellectual skills such as mathematics, poetry, and music. Different artworks can be categorized into physical and non-physical artefacts. All works referred to as art can be classified as an artefact meaning that it cannot exist in nature without the intentional impact on human beings.

Some artistic works, such as music, films, and literature, can be categorized as metacognitive artefacts because they influence human thinking in a specific direction. Art requires an enabling environment to flourish. Art does not exist independently but requires other entities such as publishers and producers. Many scholars have questioned whether video games fall under the art category. Video games have been placed in art galleries in the past. For example, in 2012, the Modern Art Museum in New York acquired 14 video games into their permanent collection. Antonelli (2012) says that a well-developed video game can be applied in education, to evoke emotions, and to test fresh experiences. Video games have artistic features.

Video games focus on the visual effects and creative application of technology. Many video games integrate various aspects of the traditional art forms. For instance, many video games are accompanied by background music that plays during gaming. Moreover, the video game is mind engaging such that the player is immersed in the game. An artist creates each work of art. Video games are created by software developers who act as artists.

Some scholars challenge video games' artistic value, citing that games are synergistic and thus cannot be equal with literature or films. The critics argue that a player's capacity to control the game's outcome takes away its artistic value. Roger Ebert says that when the player is allowed to determine a game's result, then the artists are denied the game's control (Wardyga, 2018, p.88). He asserts that games heavily depend on the audience's participation to create an experience and thus fail his definition of art.

The audience is a crucial part of the art. The main aim of art is to create a common understanding and mutual feelings and experience. For instance, a novel reader does not just read without trying to understand the feelings and the messages conveyed by the author. The best films and novels have unexpected endings leaving the audience in suspense with a desire to continue the story. Moreover, art extends past the museums and theatres as the audience discusses the interpretations. Art has one major value of moving the audience emotions and thoughts. Art that does not leave the audience with a desire to know more about what happened later is not art at all.

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