[-empyre-] art games pre computers

Paul Brown paul.brown.art.technology at gmail.com
Wed Mar 19 07:40:31 EST 2008

There are several examples in music - Mozart's dice game is possibly  
the most famous.  But many other examples from the baroque where the  
decoration was often defined by process.  Also the game-like  
improvisations of two or more players (eg. the duels).  In the 19th  
and 20th centuries several composers embedded secret messages and  
themes in their music (Elgar, Shostakovich) that could be decoded by  
the knowledgeable but not by the average listener (in Shostakovich's  
case the politicians).  Indian music and dance have many more  
examples but I'm out of my depth - there was a very interesting  
keynote about this at the workshop on Computational Creativity at  
Goldsmiths in 07 but the site is currently down:


I also found this:



On 19 Mar 2008, at 00:42, Jason Nelson wrote:

> this might have already been covered in this conversation, and I am  
> sure
> there are ample materials already available, but it might be useful  
> to discuss
> art games created prior to computer based games.
> my reasoning: I'm curious if the majority of 'art games' or  
> whatever you want
> to call them, were created post computing era. certainly there are  
> examples
> of pre computing era "games created by artists as artworks", and  
> there are
> many created now without any code involved.  but is there a  
> connection between
> the increase in "games created by artists" and the wide spread use  
> of computers?
> if so, why might this be the case?
> is it a distribution issue?  meaning did many artists adjust board  
> games in the 40s,
> but then not have the capital to reproduce them?  and the net has  
> simply opened
> the availability?   or is there something in computer games that  
> has sparked artists?
> what is that?
> if this is common knowledge to everyone else or already covered  
> here....then simple
> references would help....
> cheers, Jason
> Jim Andrews <jim at vispo.com> wrote:
> Here's a book of essays edited by Andy Clarke and Grethe Mitchell  
> called
> Videogames and Art:
> http://www.press.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/hfs.cgi/00/226001.ctl
> Among other essays, this includes "Videogames as Literary Devices"  
> by me.
> Which looks at
> The Intruder, Natalie Bookchin
> Viewing Axolotls, Regina Celia Pinto
> Pac Mondrian, Neil Hennessey & friends
> Arteroids, Jim Andrews
> The essay looks at the various degrees of subordination of game to  
> art in
> these four pieces.
> Here are links to these online games:
> Arteroids: http://vispo.com/arteroids
> Pac Mondrian: http://pbfb.ca/pac-mondrian
> Viewing Axolotls: http://arteonline.arq.br/viewing_axolotls
> The Intruder: http://bookchin.net/intruder
> Jason Nelson raises the issue of "games as art or art as game". The  
> Intruder
> and Viewing Axolotls strongly subordinate game to art, whereas Pac  
> Mondrian
> and Arteroids don't subordinate game to art that way. Yet all four  
> pieces
> are most interesting not as computer games but in their artistic  
> dimensions.
> A 'literary device' is a little engine of literary perception.  
> Metaphors,
> figure of speech, similes, plot reversals, and so on, are what are
> traditionally associated with the term 'literary device'. In digital
> literary art, games also can be 'literary devices'.
> William Carlos Williams, in the late fifties or early sixties, said  
> "A poem
> is a machine made out of words." The energy and meaning goes around  
> and
> around through literary devices of one sort or another. Poems are  
> playful,
> at least in that sense.
> ja
> http://vispo.com
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile.  
> Try it now.
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Paul Brown - based in OZ Dec 07 - Apr 08
mailto:paul at paul-brown.com == http://www.paul-brown.com
OZ Landline +61 (0)7 5443 3491 == USA fax +1 309 216 9900
OZ Mobile +61 (0)419 72 74 85 == Skype paul-g-brown
Visiting Professor - Sussex University

More information about the empyre mailing list