Beyond the video game: entertainment or an art form?

Beyond the video game: entertainment or an art form?

Beyond the video game

The video game has grown so much in recent years that calling it simple "entertainment" has become decidedly reductive. The debate around the nature of video games and their link with the arts has spread a lot, graduation theses and texts dedicated to video games have increased both as an educational tool, as an economic phenomenon and also as an art form to be connected to cinema. or to literature.

So what is the videogame for you? We mean the broad meaning of the term, clearly there are video games of different genres and with a different background both on a technical and artistic level.

Yet today how many times do we hear about "excellent graphics" or frame-rate?

Video games are more and more "realistic", day after day many triple A titles are similar to each other, so much so that it takes an in-depth study to understand the technical difference between a video game that runs on ps5 or another running on Xbox Series X.

What does this mean? There is more homogeneity, we rarely see video games that are able to "stand out" clearly for their artistic or graphic style, except for some indies (but here we go to another department and genre, made up of often smaller development houses) .

In the videogame field we are increasingly obsessed with technical performances, frame-rates, often not looking at the whole or even grasping the true spirit of the game. Although the games are similar to each other, it does not mean that we should only look at the technical aspect or the gameplay per se, as unfortunately we often tend to do.

This doesn't mean that gameplay isn't important, quite the opposite! But that's not the only aspect that makes a video game a good title or a good job. What do we feel when we see a painting or a film? Very often the artistic technique or the direction leave something to be desired, but the work always transmits something to us: a teaching, a feeling, an emotion, whether they are negative or positive.

For too long the videogame has been relegated to a sphere of simple entertainment, limiting very much all the various facets and above all the work of all the artists (and not only) who work there.

Beauty is subjective, this is clear, not there is an "objective beauty" of a painting or a film, as it should not exist for the video game.

Reviews, for example, are very useful to understand if a video game can do for you: what is it about? What are the "problems" of this title? The history, the technical sector or something else? Could I like it as a genre? All more than legitimate questions when faced with a purchase, but remember: the videogame experience will always and only be yours, subjective, there are no "absolute truths".

How many films have you adored and loved that were later killed by critics? How many video games actually have obvious technical problems, but did you still love them because they left you something? There is nothing wrong with all of this, so is art: you love it or hate it, but it will never leave you without feelings or emotions.

In philosophy, beauty could never, ever be linked to purely "technical" aspects, but it is something that is "beyond" the work and that only the spectator can grasp in his own way, the point is to train your spirit to be able to grasp the various facets of a videogame.

But be careful, it is not mandatory to try to grasp and experience the videogame at 360 °, it is just a piece of advice that I want to give to the readers : whether it's in the videogame, film, artistic or literary field, learn to look “beyond” the frame-rates or the number of actions and shots you can do in a second.

Get involved in the environments, from the story, from the game world and see it as a real "experience", you will not only do yourself good, but you will probably make happy all the developers who have worked to make you live a real personal adventure and not a simple moment of entertainment or pastime.

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