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This paper is a rhetorical analysis trying to analyze whether video games can be art concerning the essay provided by Aaron Smut, published in Contemporary Aesthetics, volume 3, where he argues that video games are not part of the arts. The paper will analyse his essay and depict whether he was right or wrong from what he provides as a shred of evidence. He started by giving us its definition and finally defending it giving us reasons why he argues so.
The video game is an electronic game where interaction with the user interface to generate visual feedback on a video display device, for example, a television screen or monitors of the computers. Earlier video in video game used to be referred to as raster display device but in 2000s video was termed as any device that can display and can produce two or three- dimensional images. Those electronic systems that have capabilities and can be used to view and play video are known as platforms. Art is some human activities that involve creating a visual, auditory or performing artefacts expressing the authors' imaginative and conceptual idea to the real world which its intention wants to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.
Effectively Aaron Smut gives a reason for whether video games should be considered an art or not. He says that video games combine elements from several fields such as narrative film, music, and sports. This makes it arguably as an art of a moving image specifically. Also in his essay, he says that most of the codes such as musical notation are performing by the computer where games are playing as sports. For example, games which have an artistic status of chess and sports compromise their insights into the condition of video games (Smut, pg6). According to his argument and the definition of the video games, this can bring some differences in consideration of video games as an art.
Also, according to Smut although video games share some of the competitive aspects with sports their comparison that sports may be art and video games cannot bring any similarities between them as video games and art-candidate sports are different in a significant way. Sports can be evaluative on aesthetic grounds unlike video games thus the playing of the video games will not be considered as an art form. This dramatically shows that recordings of the gameplay have been taken earlier then combined to make video art also most of these video games can allow someone to save them distribute them as replays hence video games cannot be termed as an art. Also, for video games not to be termed as arts, their performance cannot be evaluated aesthetically although some people can argue that playing some of the video games is an art (Smut, pg8) (FN10).
For video games not to be compared with chess which is has the art status and for video games cannot be considering as artistic performance is that video games are so many, and the rate at which technology is changing is at high speed thus there is no one video game available that that player has focused on for extended periods of time. Although, some of the video games appear to be very performative, which can lure someone to count it as the performance without knowing that playing is not considered an art. This is because most of these games draw more attention than players but video games are vice versa from non- electronic games such football and playing cards which have rules and regulations to be followed but electronics game have more rules which are supposed to be developing (FN11).
Though there is an advancement of technology over recent years where artist attempt to solve a recurrent problem using the modern way where they are trying to bring an audience into the performance, but the problem is for those people working in film and literature, where we find them struggling with the limitation of the medium. Video games allow most of the artists to perform and find a solution on a difficult problem and thus facing non-performed arts, but the question arises as to how to involve the audience in mechanically reproduced art. This rules out the video games from being considered as art (Smut, pg10).
Although major of theories on art feels that video games should be considered art but Smut ignores them as they want them to find the relationship between cinema and photography and theatre, one may think that the best value way to approach video games is by seeing the similarities and differences in art form (Smut, pg12).
In conclusion, video games cannot be considered as art because it does not exhibit characteristics such that non-electronic games such as they cannot be evaluated at the aesthetic ground and also their performance cannot be evaluated aesthetically of relevant features of play.
Aaron Smut's. "Are Video Games Art?" published in Contemporary Aesthetics, volume 3 (2005), pages 1-12.
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