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Is the issue certain gamers have with art and politics a real problem?

Content of the article: "Is the issue certain gamers have with art and politics a real problem?"



Strap yourselves in, there's no tldr

The other day, this video popped up in my recommendations: https://youtu.be/ulS0Llplv_w

(You only need to watch the first minute or so, about the article. The rest is irrelevant.)



As a brief setup on my position, I've been playing games most of my life, I've also played competitively (for money, but also semi competitive as well) and I've even written about games. I enjoy games at a mechanical level and really have little interest in what many "gamers" consider art. I do think games to be art the same way a lot of things are art, but I have absolutely no interest in, for example, The Last of Us or the new God of War or Red Dead Redemption–the narrative games that many look at when they're trying to have this discussion. I tried to force myself through Uncharted 2 once, got extremely bored by the gameplay, and just left all of that behind. It's not a big deal, I have nothing against those games, they're just not for me. I also enjoy indie games, but more for experimental gameplay than walking stimulators. Which, again, I have no issue with those, I don't think they're not real games or whatever, just not what I enjoy.

I have my own likes and dislikes, I'm comfortable with that. So, I'm not that engaged with the "gaming" community on some of these levels. I'm not going to say that the post-GG world caused it, but I will say that the post-GG world has continually vexed me whenever I encounter these discussions that are now out in the open.

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So, we have the Vice article in question. You can read it if you want, I haven't. What it has to say isn't that important, and this interpretation of the Dark Souls series isn't new or novel, these takes were coming out as soon as the first game blew up.

What's more interesting to me is that, as seen in the linked video, the "gamers" trying to have this argument about articles and takes like Vice's have zero interest in talking about the arguments and takes. They are offended at a surface, visceral level that anyone would even have a take in the first place. The backlash isn't really, "how dare you have this dumb reading of this game," it's, "what kind of idiot tries to apply a critical lense to a video game?" Like, more than half the responses I've seen online when I googled the article just straight up say, "I wouldn't read that even if you paid me, and can you believe someone had the gall to write about a video game?" (There's also plenty of awful comments about the writer's gender and sexuality, but that's almost beside the point.)

Well, what is it, then? How can you vehemently argue for games being art, then complain when people treat them like art? This is in parallel with the "games are too political" discussion, of course, because art is inherently political. I don't generally like to go there with games because I, as I said before, find the level of discourse within the games themselves to be pathetic to the point of contemptibility, but that doesn't mean it's not happening.

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I've run up against this personally when trying to talk about The Division series. I play them, I like them fine for what they are, but their nonpolitics are ridiculous, and trying to talk about that gets those same "how dare you?" responses. And I get confused, because it's not as if I'm not playing them, and I'm not the one trying to say they're art or whatever. It doesn't bother me, turn me off the games that they're so stupid, and it's a neat exercise to apply some criticism (in the reading sense), it's a big part of what makes art so engaging.



I just don't get why you'd want games to be considered art and then not want to treat them, or have others treat them, like art. What's the point of that? Don't you see what you're missing out on?

To try and wrap this into something that can be discussed, here's that position I took myself: I was (and still mostly am) both uninterested and disinterested in the overall debate re games being art or "political," because it doesn't change what I enjoy about games. There are games that I consider art that nobody else even talks about in that way, and it's okay. If you want to play the new Call of Duty because you prefer its gunplay to the Battlefield games, what does it matter if someone on Medium thinks both series are American imperialist propaganda? Why should you care, why do you care, and how can you still complain about not being legitimized by the culture as "art?" It seems like these people are shooting themselves in the foot, or just have a really shallow and underdeveloped idea of what art is

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Source: reddit.com

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