The Instigator
JustinChains
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Kinesis
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

Video Games are a form of art.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Kinesis
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/16/2011 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,379 times Debate No: 15993
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (6)

 

JustinChains

Pro

Video games are a form of art because they are created. anything that is created is a form of art. A book or a movie can be looked at in the same way, you are enjoying and interacting with a creation, through one or all of your 5 senses. Video games are no different. The movement that a character makes was created and therefor is art. A stage that was created just as beautifully as a painting, also a work of art. Anything that is created, is a work of art.

I would like to hear an opposing perspective on this topic.
Kinesis

Con

Thanks to Pro for posting what has, in recent years, been a topic of some controversy.

Firstly, it would be easy for Con to win just by taking Pro's first two sentences "Video games are a form of art because they are created. anything that is created is a form of art." and point out that this definition would lead to absurdity; if anything that were created fell under the definition of art, then not only books or painting but also suitcases, bicycles, plastic cups and literally everything manufactured in some way would count as "art", voiding the word of any usefulness. However, I will take a more charitable interpretation and assume that what he means by art includes the act of "enjoying and interacting" with the creation and also that "beauty" comes into it.

Now, given this definition, it is clear upon reflection that such a broad statement as "Video Games are a form of art" is simply not true; some video games are art, certainly; perhaps a majority, perhaps a minority, but a great many are not. Firstly, it is only relatively recently that games have become visually what anyone would consider to be beautiful. For example, to take a random example, outdated games like this one would not be considered beautiful [1] by any standard measure of the term. In addition, some games are poorly designed and thus not enyoyable to play. For instance, Superman for the nintendo 64 was released with a multiplicity of bugs and most of the game was filled with mind numbingly boring ring flying challenges [2].

I don't have a precise definition of "Art" - there is no uncontested definition. However, by the definition Pro has posted, the resolution is false. Some video games are art, some are not; however, all video games are not art.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
JustinChains

Pro

[1]

"if anything that were created fell under the definition of art, then not only books or painting but also suitcases, bicycles, plastic cups and literally everything manufactured in some way would count as "art", voiding the word of any usefulness."

1.) I never said that all video games are a great work of art, only that video games in general are a form of art. A suitcase that is designed beautifully and made from alligator skin is a work of art, where a plain black suitcase would not have much weight from an artistic point of view in todays world. A fancily designed bicycle with 3 seats that is made of gold could most assuredly be called a work of art, where a plain red bicycle might not carry the same artistic weight. I plain plastic cup might not be considered very artistic, but a cup made from plastic that is made into the shape of a lion's head, could most definitely considered art. Literally everything that is created or manufactured could be looked at as a great work of art, or not, but it is all in the personal perspective of the observer that gives it such a definition.

Maybe you did not see the first video games as a work of art, but ask someone else, someone in the computer field from before video games were around what they think... they very well might say, "What you did with this computer code was a work of art".

[2]

"Firstly, it is only relatively recently that games have become visually what anyone would consider to be beautiful. For example, to take a random example, outdated games like this one would not be considered beautiful by any standard measure of the term"

My opponent assumes his measurement for determining beauty is universal. There is no standard measurement for the term beauty, to assume so, is a stance of ignorance. I was around when the first video games were being made and played. I felt the games I was playing were very beautiful indeed and this was before Nintendo 64.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... And so is art
Kinesis

Con

1) If we are to take the resolution, instead of taking it in its literal sense to mean that video games have qualities such that they can, by definition, be categorised as "Art" and instead interpret the resolution (incorrectly grammatically) as meaning something like "generally, video games can be classified as Art" then fine - however, it is clear at that point that Pro has not fulfilled his burden of proof. He needs to show, not only that some video games can be classified as Art, but that a majority of video games can be classified as Art. Pro has brought forth no argument or evidence thus far to even attempt to fulfil such a burden of proof - either the former or the latter. In addition, he has yet to provide a definition of Art such that we can properly evaluate this question; my working definition derived from the first round will have to do apparently.

For example, if the resolution were "Plastic Cups are a form of art" then, if we interpret the resolution as Pro does, he would have to provide evidence that a majority (or "in general") of cups are works of art. Pointing out exceptions such as novelty cups shaped like lion's heads will not do.

It seems almost trivial to point out that an imagined conversation with someone from the past does not count as evidence - in any case, the resolution is that they *are* a work of Art, so even if they were considered beautiful in the past Pro has to show that they are a work of Art now, in the present tense.

2) If beauty is entirely subjective, then we have no real way of determining whether Video Games do fall into the definition of Art and thus it is impossible for Pro to prove the resolution. Things that are "in the eye of the beholder" cannot, by definition, be proven in a debate since they are not truth apt statements. If art is subjective, then I can simply say "Well, I don't think video games ARE art" and I will be just as right as you.


Debate Round No. 2
JustinChains

Pro

I have to prove nothing as a majority in order for it to be art... To be belief so is to rationalize in ignorance. An artist determines what is art for he alone can understand why it is considered art to him. A picture is a form of art. The majority of pictures are not looked at that way, but could be, if the said pictures had characteristics that made them beautiful to the observer. A paper cup could be crumpled in such a way to make it look unique then painted a few colors to further this quality, then be looked at as artwork. Artwork does not need to be proven in a majority in order for it to be artwork, as a matter of fact, it is a goal of most artists to create something completely different and unique, something that is not part of the majority of artwork, but a rare beautiful piece in it's own regard.

You see... Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Majority has nothing to do with it. Someone could build a horse out of glue and beer cans, but that does not mean that the majority of beer cans and glue have to be considered as artwork in order for the horse to be looked at as art.

Video games are a form of art because they involve a great amount of things that fall into the realm of artwork. Shapes, colors, sounds, movements, etc.

I will give you an example of a video game that I consider to be a modern work of art... Final fantasy XIII for PS3, PC, or XBOX 360. This game is beautiful in every way. The movements, the characters, the dialogue, the music, the world the game is played in, etc.

What one person sees a work of art, another sees as nothing artistic at all.

A picture of sunset, a horse made of beer cans, the movement of a dancer, the clothing on a fashion model, all of these things fall into the realm of normal accepted art.

Movies, pictures, books, music... All of these things make up the accepted majority of art forms.

Video games consist of some or all of these elements, and the combination therefor cannot be denied as a form of art.
Kinesis

Con

In Pro's final round, he provides two understandings of what 'art' is and why we should believe that video games should be classified as them. The problem is, they are mutually exclusive and so Pro's position is inconsistent. Let's look at these two definitions;

1) Art is completely subjective. Whether or not something is art depends not on some criterion that must be met, but is relative to the observer. In Pro's own words "An artist determines what is art for he alone can understand why it is considered art to him" - the key word to recognise here is 'determines'. The artist does not recognise that something is art because it possesses qualities that match up to a criterion; whether it is art is relative to him.

So, what's the problem? The problem is that given this definition of art it is impossible, in principle, for Pro to prove that the resolution is true. If I believe video games are not art and he believes video games are art there is no way way of determining which of us is right - the resolution is not stating any true fact about video games. The resolution is like "marmite is tasty" - it is not true or false, but is relative to the taster (observer).

Pro illustrates the point perfectly "What one person sees a work of art, another sees as nothing artistic at all"

2) Art involves "Shapes, colors, sounds, movements, etc."
- this is completely new understanding of art introduced in the last round and should be rejected on that basis. In addition, it provides a criterion for something to meet to be art and thus contradicts definition 1). Pro gives the example of Final Fantasy XIII and says why he considers it to be a work of art - he sees it as beautiful amongst other positive characteristics. However, we then have to accept that art not only includes those elements included in the definition but that they are used in skilled ways that excite the observer's senses, intellect or emotions. Pro's definition is incomplete
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
@Silver_Falcon

You're right, my mistake.
Posted by 150Hancock25 6 years ago
150Hancock25
Expressed loud and clear in the very first sentence, the conclusion of this argument is that video games should be considered as a form of art. Due to the significant amount of skill and time it takes to compose a video game, the speaker poses a conclusion that has the potential to successfully sway the belief of a rational individual. Although his initial argument holds some degree of merit, the speaker uses poor premise's to defend his claim. The first premise that captures my attention is the statement in which the speaker states that "Video games are a form of art because they are created. anything that is created is a art form". This particular premise deeply hinders the overall conclusion because it is extremely outlandish and farfetched. According to the beliefs of this individual all living beings and inanimate objects should be classified as a form of art. Because is statement is so irrational if it were to be expressed to any rational person they would most likely dismiss this entire argument and label that speaker as a fool. In addition to the message this statement relays, another reason why this is clearly a bad premise is the punctuation used. I am not sure if it was intentional or done on accident, but the speaker placed a period in place of a comma.
In addition to bad punctuation, another reason why this is a bad argument is the premise that states art is something that you are enjoying and interacting through one or all of your 5 senses and video games are no different. Although one is using several senses when playing a video game, people also often engage multiple senses when performing a number of other tasks. This can range from one riding a bicycle to driving an automobile, although both of these activities require the use of several senses very few rational individuals would label them as an art form.
Posted by Silver_Falcon 6 years ago
Silver_Falcon
Kinesis, Justin, you are both wrong. Final Fantasy 7 and 8 were available on PC too. I still have the original box with FFVIII for PC.
Posted by heatfran 6 years ago
heatfran
A good example that video games have the potential to be art? Bioshock. All you non-believers will convert to the admiring audience of video game art!
Posted by JustinChains 6 years ago
JustinChains
Yeah, I just checked it out and you are right. It's too bad that PC gamers never got a chance to experience this series on their PCs. I'm sure they probably have home systems though. Most gamers do.
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
I don't think any of the FF games have ever come out of PC, except the MMOs FFXI and XIV. The only ones are fan made emulator versions.
Posted by JustinChains 6 years ago
JustinChains
Awww... well, that sucks. They usually always have the FF series on PC. Damn, I thought that game was a masterpiece. Wish PC gamers could've had a chance to play it.
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
Incidentally, FFXIII was a disappointment and it isn't on PC.
Posted by GeoLaureate8 6 years ago
GeoLaureate8
Just out of curiousity, why are there two 29 y/o JustinChains? lol

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

Obviously it's not multi-accounting cause if it were, it'd be the worst attempt of all time! lol. But seriously, what is that? haha.
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
"did not supply clear and substantive argumentation for his own position"

You're correct, but I would point out that generally the burden of proof is considered to be on the instigator and all Con has to do is negate Pro's arguments to win. Plus, the character limit wasn't high enough for me to make a positive case in addition to making a negative one.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by heatfran 6 years ago
heatfran
JustinChainsKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I agreed with Pro the entire way, but Con definetley won the debate in the eyes of an english teacher.
Vote Placed by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
JustinChainsKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pretty easy win for Con. Pro didn't do much to refute the arguments that Kinesis made I would give Kinesis 5 points, but the self-vote-bomb with a clear multi-account gives Con the other two points as well
Vote Placed by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
JustinChainsKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Seriously? Creating a second account so you can vote for yourself? Wow...
Vote Placed by boredinclass 6 years ago
boredinclass
JustinChainsKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: 1, pro looses conduct for voting for himself, really dude? con had sources and alot of unanswered arguments
Vote Placed by Justin_Chains 6 years ago
Justin_Chains
JustinChainsKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument is quite convincing.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
JustinChainsKinesisTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The resolution was so vague, that there never really was ever to be a debate. And all attempts to pin point a resolution in order to debate were dodged by Pro. Since Pro said that it is all subjective, I can only use my personal, subject, definition. And so not all video games are art to me, so Con wins.