[-empyre-] art and games encounters

Claudia Pederson ccp9 at cornell.edu
Sat Mar 9 10:09:06 EST 2013

Thank you Isabelle for you insights and the links. I agree with you on the
emergence of indiegames as serving to make the lines between gamers and
artists increasingly redundant (while in lots of cases these lines were
already of no relevance). On the other hand, indie is now a label that is
increasingly vague (yet appealing). So for instance, many indiegames are
distributed through steam, a sharing platform owned by valve, the makers of
Half-life, whose engine is shared by america's army. And yes, many of these
games are truly creative.

I don't know of a really in depth study of the ins and outs of the
videogame industry at present, but there is certainly much work to be done
on this topic.

On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 9:59 AM, Isabelle Arvers <ia at isabellearvers.com>wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> I am very happy to follow your conversation because the relationship
> between art and video games has been at the center of my research interests
> for the last ten years. In the exhibitions I curate I show artwork related
> to games or diverting games and I encourage a playful interaction between
> ideas and aesthetics. I also promote the indie game scene within the world
> of art and organize workshops of machinima or game creation to encourage a
> greater degree of autonomy and creativity in games creation and development.
> What I was able to observe until now is that the world of games, including
> indie games, and the world of art, including digital art, are still very
> opaque to each other, as it is often the case within different artistic
> disciplines. Each discipline has its own network, thinkers, professionals,
> and creators. But there are very few occasions to mix different networks.
> If you go to game jams, you’ll see game developers, game designers, and
> engineers… If you go to art festivals or exhibitions, you’ll see mainly
> artists or professionals who are not really into games. However, games are
> increasingly included in art exhibitions and contexts, as gaming became
> such a huge market and cultural product that even museums felt that they
> had to take them in account. Although this phenomenon of gradual inclusion
> is very important, each universe still retains its crew; very few are
> blurring these immaterial boundaries. Molle Industria is a real exception,
> as Newsgaming is, because they are respected in the world of video games
> and considered by gamers as ‘true games’. Games created by artists are
> seldom seen by gamers as ‘real games’. This perception is beginning to
> change in the indie game scene as more and more “ovnis”, also called
> “notgames”, which used to be seen as “arty games” are increasingly
> considered as games.
> In the emerging indie game scene when game developers, recognized at top
> creators and often compared to artists, make references to the art world
> they refer to 19th century  art. They mention very few, if any, current
> artists, including digital artists. It is also quite rare that artists
> refer to game designers or game developers. They are creating amazing
> things at the same time in the same world but most of the times they don’t
> share the same references.
> I think that our role is now to create more and more encounters between
> these two worlds. They already exist of course, thanks to Babycastles, the
> exhibitions “Joue le Jeu” at la Gaité Lyrique, the “Notgames” festival
> which happened at the same period with the Koln gamesfest, “Play again”
> that is just happening right now in Tourcoings, “Vector Art + Game” in
> Toronto, etc… I think that artists and game designers need to work more
> together and share their skills and points of view. But we also need to
> link – as you are doing here – these two worlds in a theoretical way by
> connecting game studies to the thinking about new aesthetics and share
> again ideas.
> http://babycastles.com/
> http://notgames.colognegamelab.com/
> http://www.gaite-lyrique.net/theme/joue-le-jeu-ete-2012
> http://imaginarium-society.org/?p=3326
> http://vectorgameartfest.tumblr.com/
> --
> Isabelle Arvers
> Curator & art critic
> http://www.isabellearvers.com
> http://iarvers.free.fr
> ia at isabellearvers.com
> Skype ID : zabarvers
> www.youtube.com/zabarvers
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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