An unprecedented number of world class game developers have joined together to discuss the current state of the industry they operate within. Game smiths such as Cliff Bleszinski and Hideo Kojima have contributed to a collection of interviews that have been chopped up and served in segments in an online video archive.
How often does a potentially new art entertainment form happen? Every 500 years? Every 1000 years?
LA based Entertainment group Artifact are responsible for this meeting of minds and have announced a feature length documentary is also planned. Future interviews will be added periodically and include fan feedback which may tie in with the other announcement: a mobile application. No further details regarding the app are available at the time of print.
To tee up their campaign, the Artifact website has this statement on its main page:
CHALLENGE: Give game designers their due as innovators and influencers of culture.
SOLUTION: A transmedia project exploring the art, philosophy, politics and psychology of video games, starting with an online video archive of interviews with video game’s most influential designers and visionaries. Stay tuned for the documentary film and mobile app.
Most of the filming took place at the GDC over the space of two years. The presentation is slick and the opinions offered by the many legends can be deep and meaningful. Even Yoshiniri Ono, famed for his silly persona, pulls a straight face to talk about the emotionality of games. The segments can be viewed now by visiting the Critical///Path site. The delivery of the content is quite avant-garde, with the main menu looking like a character select screen than an interview archive. The snippets are fairly short but the content is solid enough that the points made feel well articulated.
The on-going project seems to have enthused many of the developers happy to see their craft viewed as more than entertainment for children. With some of the greatest creative and technically gifted game makers ready to show the world games are not merely games, there is a lot of compelling content on display.
The industry of gaming is in full swing with astronomical budgets demanding massive returns but the Art of gaming is still struggling to be recognised by the mainstream. As a proud member of the game making fraternity, I applaud the time and trouble that has gone into this project.
What do you think about the acceptance of games as art? Are video games the unwelcome guest as the arty party? Or are gamers at the cutting edge of the inevitable future of true art? as always let us know in the comments.