Works of Game

The Smithsonian-derived show and MoMA's acquisition and exhibition of games has pushed the idea of games as art forward, but it has also clouded and confused the issue. When the contemporary art community talks about art, this means one thing, and when the game industry and community talks about art, they are usually talking about something else. 

Though games have been a part of fine art explicitly and implicitly since at least the early twentieth century, more often than not they have been evaluated using the aesthetics and critical valuations of the prevailing artforms of the time — painting, film, conceptual art, postmodernism, etc. For the contemporary art community of the last ten to fifteen years, videogames have functioned as a set of technologies, processes, subject matter or popular culture rather than as cultural form with its own set of conceptual, formal and experiential affordances.

As a result, the two communities discuss many of the same works and use many of the same tools and techniques, but do so to very different ends using isolated vocabularies and methods of evaluation and critique. This talk, based on an in-progress book by the same name, investigates this gap through a formal aesthetics and critical evaluation of games that satisfies the aesthetic and critical expectations of the two communities.

US Airways is the Official Sponsor of the Phoenix Art Museum Lecture Series.

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