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Making Statements With Video Games 329

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-ask-jack-thompson dept.
You may have heard about the recent controversy at the Leipzig Games Conference over a modification of Space Invaders in which the invaders are slowly demolishing the World Trade Center. The creator intended it as an artistic expression, but has since removed the game, saying, "it was never created to merely provoke controversy for controversy's sake." Kotaku took this occasion to ask whether "statements" can and should be made via video games, and how it affects the ongoing question of whether video games should be considered art. "The entire issue begs comparisons to Danny Ledonne's Super Colombine Massacre RPG!, an unsettling and involved title that tasks players on the most basic level with acting out the 1999 Littleton, Colorado school shooting in the role of killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Ledonne told the Washington Post that his intention with the title was never to glorify the tragedy, but to 'confront their actions and the consequences those actions had.' Like Stanley's Invaders!, Ledonne and his title stopped short of providing a direct interpretation - neither artist has been especially specific about 'what it means,' or in instructing players on how they should interpret their work or what 'message' should be taken away."
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Making Statements With Video Games

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  • by halsver (885120) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:01PM (#24744765)

    Too soon?

    • by grantek (979387) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:12PM (#24744889)

      South Park takes the proverbial piss out of this stuff pretty well. So does the Simpsons - the statue of David never came with an instruction manual directing people how to interpret it, but somehow people called it art instead of porn until the conservative extremists got some media bandwith to play with.

      • Re:Oblig. Southpark (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:45PM (#24745293) Homepage Journal
        Last night on Family Guy Peter Griffin shot his daughter at point-blank range with a handgun.

        Across the universe a million Jedi padawan cried out in laughter and were quickly elated by having their first play of GTA4 and 2.45 percent of those were arrested for committing copycat crimes within the hour.

        Elsewhere, some guy creates a bunch of pixellated blips which make other blips make noise. It is too "controversial" to be released into the wild.
  • by Surt (22457) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:06PM (#24744813) Homepage Journal

    Video games are art. It is long settled. No one of consequence is disputing this.

    • by HappySmileMan (1088123) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:20PM (#24744979)
      From the summary:

      Kotaku took this occasion to ask whether "statements" can and should be made via video games, and how it affects the ongoing question of whether video games should be considered art.

      From parent:

      Video games are art. It is long settled. No one of consequence is disputing this.

      From the mod:

      (Score:1, Offtopic)

      This is why I love slashdot.

      • From the summary:

        Kotaku took this occasion to ask whether "statements" can and should be made via video games, and how it affects the ongoing question of whether video games should be considered art.

        From parent:

        Surt

        Video games are art. It is long settled. No one of consequence is disputing this.

        From the mod:

        (Score:1, Offtopic)

        HapppySmileMan

        This is why I love slashdot.

        By doing such a silly thing, somebody has served the opposite purpose. And this why I like slashdot. As far as categories go, art and other things can be merged and it is not always possible to determine where the water ends and the alcohol begins in a drink.

        • by grahamd0 (1129971)

          it is not always possible to determine where the water ends and the alcohol begins in a drink.

          I like the cut of your jib, Slashdotter.

      • by Surt (22457)

        Wow ... I have to agree ... the offtopic moderation is ridiculous.

    • by n dot l (1099033) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:41PM (#24745231)

      Yes video games are art (see Braid). Yes, you can make artistic statements in video games. You can make all sorts of statements in games. No, all video games are not good art (the same applies to paintings, books, and movies). And no, you do not have any sort of right to a warm reception whatsoever for your work. Just like with paintings books and movies (fancy that). If your "statement" makes your game unfun or offensive then, well, suck it up, you broke your own shit. It's not our fault for "not understanding" your well-obfuscated intent.

      That out of the way, I have to agree with the parent that it's stupid debating the whole "games as art" thing in the first place. We don't question whether movies are art when someone makes a film denying the Holocaust. What the hell is it with all these "controversies" we get lately (here, in blogs, in political discourse, in the MSM)? Are we really trying so hard to be "nuanced" that we have to dump illogical statements into every other sentence just to be interesting?

      Although, this gives me another item for my list of "things to do if I suddenly become a god": have my prophet spout subtle logical fallacies and then laugh it up as the idiot humans get upset, and waste a bunch of time or do damage to themselves, and then finally figure it out and say, "hey, wait a minute, that doesn't even make sense!"

      • by grahamd0 (1129971)

        Although, this gives me another item for my list of "things to do if I suddenly become a god": have my prophet spout subtle logical fallacies and then laugh it up as the idiot humans get upset, and waste a bunch of time or do damage to themselves, and then finally figure it out and say, "hey, wait a minute, that doesn't even make sense!"

        I've been waiting so long for you to show yourself, Lord!

    • Video games *can be* art. That doesn't make all video games works of art.

    • Video games are art.

      Are you reslly sure? [wikipedia.org]

    • Video games are art.

      But should that art be censored?

      The fact remains; most people associate video games with children and young people. While this remains the dominant view of the medium it will be subjected to a level of scrutiny and censorship unseen by any medium that has come before it. There are movies rated PG-13 that, as a game, would never be certified with anything less than an M or 18s rating. We've all played GTA. What, if anything, in the entire series compares with the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan?

      Is there a higher level of censorship because the player is "committing the action's themselves!". No. That is only a rationalisation. The real reason is because Joe Public and John Politician think games are for "kids", and should have a level of "decency" befitting that role. Mention drugs or prostitution in a video game, hint at violence, or make even innocuous remarks about sexuality, or heaven forbid use even very mild "language" and you'll be rated akin to a James Bond title.

      Ratchet and Clank [wikipedia.org] as a series, has been continuously rated "Teen" by the ESRB. The ESRB, touted as a serious rating agency, is telling me with a straight face that Ratchet and Clank is unsuitable for 9-12 year olds? This is the status quo in the video game industry. In an environment like that, just how much risk do you think artists, or their patrons, will really be willing to take with their work?

      • The fact remains; most people associate video games with children and young people.

        Art also gets censored all the time. It's just that most people do not realize that some famous paintings they know were covered up with clothes later on, often decades later when some new pope came on the scene. It's just that most people do not realize that countless works of arts were burned or destroyed because they didn't fit a particular racial, religious, and/or political dogma of a particular day. It's just that most

      • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @02:42AM (#24748117)

        We've all played GTA. What, if anything, in the entire series compares with the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan?

        Well, there is a significant difference you see. Sure the opening scene of Private Ryan is gruesome and vivid. Yet the message behind it is the pointlessness and futility of the whole thing. Most violence in GTA is trivial in comparison but instills that VIOLENCE HAS REWARDS. That is a very significant difference.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Flambergius (55153)

          Yet the message behind [Saving Private Ryan] is the pointlessness and futility of the whole thing. Most violence in GTA is trivial in comparison but instills that VIOLENCE HAS REWARDS. That is a very significant difference.

          Now you have engaged in picking a winner between two works of art. Fine for a private person to do, but not fine for the government or for any entity that serves the whole public (like de facto offical ratings agency like ESRB).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rtechie (244489) *

          Sure the opening scene of Private Ryan is gruesome and vivid. Yet the message behind it is the pointlessness and futility of the whole thing.

          No it is not. How many war resisters and pacifists appeared in Saving Private Ryan? At what point in the film do the soldiers mutiny and refuse to fight?

          The message is: "Americans are awesome and the Nazis suck ass!", the same message as every WWII movie. Violence is consistently portrayed as good, even "the greatest good", as long as it's Americans using the violence. The soldiers are reverently portrayed and being noble and heroic and honoring their "sacrifice". Hell, the whole movie is about how the Amer

    • by westlake (615356)
      Video games are art. It is long settled. No one of consequence is disputing this.
      .

      That I very much doubt.

      The London stage was considered popular entertainment is Shakespeare's day.

      If you wanted recognition as a writer you wrote and published poetry - or perhaps a book of essays, like Sir Francis Bacon.

      It is a long way from the tintypes of 1860 to the landscape photography of Ansel Adams.

      MoMa didn't begin collecting photographs until 1930, motion pictures until 1935. That is forty years of the Americ

    • by nomadic (141991)
      Video games are art. It is long settled. No one of consequence is disputing this.

      Every slashdotter who responds to "can videogames cause violence" stories with a rant about how games are purely for fun and can never induce anyone to do anything disputes it.
      • by Psychochild (64124) <psychochild.gmail@com> on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @06:04AM (#24749173) Homepage

        Art can influence people, but it's rare that it induces people to a particular action unless they suffer from specific conditions. A painting I like to use as an example in this case is Goya's Tres de Mayo [wikipedia.org]. This image shows more blood than you'll see in a typical computer game screenshot. Yet, I learned about this painting in my Spanish classes in school.

        Take a look at the painting. Does it fill you with emotion? It does for me. Even if you don't know the history behind the image, the image quite obviously shows a lot of anguish and fear and death. It's not a comfortable painting to look at for a long time, for most people. But, does it induce you to an action? Do you want to support Napoleon's invasion of Spain? Shoot some Spanish rebels? Wear a bright white shirt to your own execution? Probably not.

        If you're worried that the interactive nature of games is more harmful than other media, go ahead and read the majority of the peer-reviewed studies out there. For most people, this is not an issue.

  • meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thermian (1267986) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:08PM (#24744841)

    Ever since I discovered the joy of hunting down and killing innocent civilian transports in Elite I've been looking for ways to be a completely evil bugger in the games I play.

    I'm not alone either, people like to do that sort of thing. Why else would you be able to sit on top of buildings taking out hookers with a sniper rifle in a car driving game? There is of course a big difference between doing that in a game and doing it in real life, but quite obviously it is something people find amusing, at least in a fantasy sense.

    I can't say I'd like replaying real world modern atrocities, but I know from accounts of elderly relatives just how bloody and horrific the second world war was (in unfortunately graphic detail, given how young I was when I listened to the stories), yet we happily recreate that in game after game.

    recreation of nasty events is going to happen, there's no way to avoid it, and good luck trying to set a time limit on how much time must pass before an event becomes a suitable topic for a game.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by QuantumG (50515) *

      I think it would be fun to have an augmented reality sniper rifle. You climb up on a tall building, sight up some people and then blast them.. the scope in the sniper rifle gives you a realistic account of the blood splatter and how they would fall to the ground, etc. You could wear headphones to simulate the sound of the rifle firing. Of course, when you take your eyes away from the scope the person is still alive and walking around.. I'm not suggesting we need VR goggles here.

      Unfortunately, if someone

    • I agree with you. Those crazy people who think people will act out video games should get ready for me to dress up in a pirate outfit and go around stabbing people in the back with a 3 foot long dagger, /dancing and /giggling the whole time.

      (World of Warcraft PVP, world ganking people 50 levels lower than myself for fun)

    • Everybody knows that. An infinite supply of ships flying towards you and none of that tedious mucking about in hyperspace.

  • >>"it was never created to merely provoke controversy for controversy's sake." Then what message was it intended to provoke? Did the creator actually suspect people would look and go, "Oh! How artistic?" and not lash out against it? He has every right to create, but I can't imagine what kind of dipstick wouldn't realize that it was going to piss people off.
    • Maybe he just didn't care that a few assholes would limit his freedom of expression, he doesn't have to explain why he did it to you or anyone else, he is allowed by law.
      • by timmarhy (659436)
        wait he made a game depecting an event in which lots of peoples family memebers were murdered, and THEY are the assholes?

        while i agree freedom of expression is important, it doesn't make it ok for this prick to exploit a tragic event for his own gain (which is clearly all this is).

  • What about the JFK game where you are Oswald? That was big when it came out.

    • What about the JFK game where you are Oswald? That was big when it came out.
      .

      Because it offered cash rewards?

      On February 22, 2005, Stephane Krupa, a user living in France, named "Major_Koenig" (named after Erwin König, a famous sniper) won the competition prize of $10,712 with a score of 782 out of 1000. Second and third place went to the users "Flux" (779) and "ArrogantB" (777) respectively JFK: Reloaded [wikipedia.org]

  • by philspear (1142299) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:19PM (#24744971)

    It's unfortunate that the examples were all statements of "Lookit me! I'm an insensitive asshole!" But the answer is yes, they can express that.

    The real question is if games can make statements that aren't

    -I want money
    -I want attention
    -I hate (insert group of people here)
    -I'm a jerk

    The answer is yes, but we haven't been able to do it very sophisticated like yet.

    One GOOD exmaple I'm thinking of is the guy who made "the emo game" You can find his works here
    http://www.emogame.com/ [emogame.com]

    Emo game 1 basically is making fun of emo music. A worthy goal. One of the sequels is an extremely not-subtle condemnation of conservatives, republicans, Bush, Paris hilton, the anti-stem cell movement, and shooting various other fishes in barrels. They're free and sometimes funny. Again, not subtle. Try them. A lot of the message relies on you playing through not very good gaming portions and then coming to a word document with the message inserted. It doesn't flow seamlessly with the game.

    There are also games that are clearly environmental, and they range from bludgeoning you over the head with it to so subtle that you could miss it.

    Bioshock I'm told has some moral questions for you to ponder. As I haven't played it yet I can't comment on that. I suspect though it's largely using movie techniques between game sequences.

    Videogames as statements are clearly in their infancy, so it's to be expected that the examples we have are fairly crude. Props to the emogame guy for being a pioneer of sorts though, and of course for making a statement with his soapbox. But it definitely is possible and with time they'll develop mechanisms to make it actually part of the game as opposed to gaming between statements.

    • I am a jerk, you insensitive clod!
    • From Slashdot's post:

      ... the ongoing question of whether video games should be considered art.

      There is no such question. The only question that should be asked is this: has anyone yet made a video game that can be considered art? As a medium, video games are unquestionably capable of being art, even in ways that's impossible with other mediums.

      From your post:

      Props to the emogame guy for being a pioneer of sorts though, and of course for making a statement with his soapbox.

      Trinity [wikipedia.org] was released in 1986. I th

    • by jackbird (721605)

      The real question is if games can make statements that aren't -I want money -I want attention -I hate (insert group of people here) -I'm a jerk The answer is yes, but we haven't been able to do it very sophisticated like yet.

      I refer you to the works of one Jason Rohrer, especially Passage and Gravitation. Both games are free, and will take you only a few minutes, but the statements they make are likely to stick with you.

  • I believe you are asking a rhetorical question.
  • I have said this elsewhere but I might as well post it here too. At lest this guy didn't make a movie dramatizing events from 9/11 and charge people $8+ to see it.
    • by westlake (615356)
      At lest this guy didn't make a movie dramatizing events from 9/11 and charge people $8+ to see it.
      .

      Trying to comprehend an event like 9/11 does not imply using a Wii controller to slit the throat of a stewardess in a video game.

  • two comments. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:30PM (#24745109)
    The quick answer is, of course. Like any other form of creative endeavor, videogames can and should be used to explore themes and illustrate principles, artistically.

    The second point, though, is that I don't like these two games being held up as examples of video-game art. Both the mentioned games seem to me a bit like the crucifix dipped in urine; it's making a crass, simplistic, unsubtle, and probably unintended statement. Artists seem to feel that they are free to make ridiculous and shoddily-executed statements, purely for shock, and that nobody should criticise them for it. It's 'art'.

    Play Planescape:Torment to find a game rich with true art, that says something about humanity. The aforementioned two games are art, in the same sense hanging condoms from a Christmas tree painted red is.
    • undiscovered genius

      barely made a blip on the horizon when it was released, yet now, many years later, i keep encountering people who refer to it. i myself think about it now and then and think "what exactly made me think of that game right now, i haven't played it in years"

      because, exactly as you said, that was one hell of a gorgeous, unique, creatively engrossing game. nothing like it's story arc or it's character. it makes an impression

      like rocky horror picture show [wikipedia.org], you will hear more and more of Planesc

  • ... and merely doing something that you know people will find offensive.

    Let's see someone actually do something thought-provoking with games, not simply "hey, what's the most offensive thing we can do, let's do that and call it 'artistic'!"

    If you turned your "artistic statement" into a Slashdot comment and it would get modded down as "Troll", it's not a particularly good statement. Keep thinking.

  • by incognito84 (903401) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:34PM (#24745147)
    I remember reading an article written by Hideo Kojima (of MGS fame) about whether he thought video games were art, and he said no.

    He essentially said that he didn't believe video games were art as they offered an open ended experience where players can immerse themselves in order to form unique experiences.

    As a whole, that's just what they are: packaged, bought and sold "worlds" or "realities" for us to play in, which can contain all sorts and varieties of artistic elements, but yet as a whole can not be considered art. A player's experience rewound and played forward as a non-interactive product of the player's volition (like a film) can be art, but the act of playing a video game is not by itself art.

    This is not to subtract from the idea of video games as I'm an avid video gamer myself. Video games provide us with experiences we could not or would not replicate in real life, and our interaction with these games creates an individually tailored experience which can be chalked full of artistic things, yet not artistic as a whole because it is what you make of it.

    Is riding the subway to work art? No. Is seeing a painting on the wall art? The painting itself is, yes, but not the act of seeing it or your choice to go and see it. Is listening to music art? Not the act of listening, but the music itself is art... and you see my point.

    Video games offer us a passage to artistic things, but are wholly not art in themselves.

    Hope that made sense.

    • Video games are not art

      Ceci n'est pas une pipe

    • by Hatta (162192)

      He essentially said that he didn't believe video games were art as they offered an open ended experience where players can immerse themselves in order to form unique experiences.

      Hasn't the experience one takes from a work of art always been open ended? Every person is unique, and so is their experience. Nothing changes when its a game.

    • by Burning1 (204959)

      I don't see how allowing a player to immerse themselves by having their own unique experiences within an alternate world invalidates the idea that games are art. If anything, I feel like it promotes the idea.

      To me, art provides an alternative way of expressing and exploring thoughts that people may be uncomfortable approaching directly. Sometimes the art is designed to shock, other times it's designed to break through barriers of faith, tradition, or social normality. One of the great things about art is it

    • by blackicye (760472)

      I remember reading an article written by Hideo Kojima (of MGS fame) about whether he thought video games were art, and he said no.

      He essentially said that he didn't believe video games were art as they offered an open ended experience where players can immerse themselves in order to form unique experiences.

      And thus suddenly the reason every MGS game I've ever played seems to have an idiotic storyline has become apparent.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Das Modell (969371)

      I remember reading an article written by Hideo Kojima (of MGS fame) about whether he thought video games were art, and he said no.
      He essentially said that he didn't believe video games were art as they offered an open ended experience where players can immerse themselves in order to form unique experiences.

      He's full of shit. It's up to the developer to decide how much freedom to give to the player. A completely linear adventure game like Grim Fandango is not going to give the player much room for an "open e

  • Just like a book (Score:3, Insightful)

    by atmtarzy (1267802) <ndnjones3 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:45PM (#24745283)

    I don't really see much of an argument against considering video games as art. The longer ones, with stories and what-not are very similar to written books. Both have different methods of engaging the player or reader, but both do provide a fully-fledged story, complete with morals, themes, and a message that can change a player's or reader's opinion on a matter. The shorter games, like in the mentioned Space Invaders controversy, are very similar to paintings. There isn't much of a story to them, but they still are fully capable of affecting a player or viewer.

    In general, I'd say that something is art if it's capable of affecting its 'experiencer' in some sort of opinion- or emotially-related way. The fact that 2+2 is 4 isn't art (written on paper, it might be, but not the simple fact itself), while little aliens blowing up the WTC is.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:52PM (#24745399) Journal
    This seems to be less about whether video games can be art, and more about the dimwitted reactionary troglodytes who seem to think that their emotional reactions, so long as they are strong enough, should dictate what other people get to see, say, and do.

    This vice is not a new one(The Romans were bitching about the decadence of Greek art not long after they became familiar with it), nor is it confined to whining about games(as the previous anecdote suggests), nor is it confined to any particular political persuasion(Fascists attacked "decadent" art, Communists attacked "bourgeois" art, religious fundamentalists attack pretty much anything that doesn't bow and scrape to their wretched little gods, hardline bleeding-hearts attack art that threatens "the children" which is one of their few areas of agreement with the fundies.) Video games are the target of choice because, unlike other media which have a long and respectable history to (partially) shield them from attack, it is still common "knowledge" that video games are just homicide simulators for pimply geeks.

    The only "controversy" here consists of people who think that their right to never have their feelings hurt is more important than anybody else's right to speak whining, as they always do. Pathetic.
    • were the artist/ designer not purposely picking something designed to bait the troglodyte you are talking about

      in other words, troglodytes attacking something of their own initiative (which happens all the time, which should be condemned), is one thing

      but publicity seekers purposely designing "art" or videogames that are designed to piss off troglodytes is another thing entirely

      notice i'm not realy attacking the publicity seekers. i'm simply completely unimpressed with them. i'm simply saying they get what

    • by westlake (615356)
      The Romans were bitching about the decadence of Greek art not long after they became familiar with it
      .

      The Romans were serious collectors of Greek art - it is not decadence but the idealism of Greek art which distinguishes it from the Romans.

      We know instantly what a Roman - or a Romulan - should look like. He will be a warrior born, competent, dangerous, utterly human and showing every scar and blemish of his age.

      Video games are the target of choice because, unlike other media which have a long and respe

  • Movies...or books...or...well, you get the idea.

    And, like all previous mediums, is bound to be fertile ground for all kinds statements, from serious to the ridiculous.

    My question is, when will we see the Jack Thompson Lawsuit Shootout Jamboree?

  • by grahamd0 (1129971) on Monday August 25, 2008 @09:02PM (#24745499)

    Like Stanley's Invaders!, Ledonne and his title stopped short of providing a direct interpretation - neither artist has been especially specific about 'what it means,' or in instructing players on how they should interpret their work or what 'message' should be taken away.

    Nor should they. The meaning of art is subjective.

    Any good artist is far too emotionally connected to their work to objectively critique it. Explaining the meaning of their work is simply being pretentious. Who are they to tell us how to feel?

    • "Any good artist is far too emotionally connected to their work to objectively critique it."

      Then you need to read some interviews with a 'good artist' or two, like say, Dali, Rockwell, Picasso -- there are many more available. Your point not only is simply your opinion, many very good artists in history appear to disagree.

      "Who are they to tell us how to feel?"

      Who are you to tell them what to critique?
      • by grahamd0 (1129971)

        Artists can tell whomever they want what their art means, I certainly won't stop them.

        Whether or not I like or feel an emotional connection to a piece of art has nothing to do with what the artist tells me it means.

  • Art (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BeardedClone (1351227) on Monday August 25, 2008 @09:04PM (#24745513)
    Art refers a range of human creations, and expressions that are appealing to other people. I believe when we include music and literature, we should automatically include games because they include both elements. Games also include visual arts and sculptures (3D). We can sit here and discuss aesthetics all day, or agree that it's something better left to the philosophers. Ars est celare artem.
  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Monday August 25, 2008 @09:12PM (#24745573)
    a modification of Space Invaders in which the invaders are slowly demolishing the World Trade Center

    I can see why people were upset. That's not how it happened!!! A mod of MS Flight Simulator, now that would be more realistic.
  • Look out, there's controversy! RUN!!
  • no thanks (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by schnikies79 (788746)

    Sometimes I just want to be entertained without having to hear/see "your statement." I don't always care about what you think, nor do I always want to know.

  • by macraig (621737) <mark...a...craig@@@gmail...com> on Monday August 25, 2008 @09:48PM (#24745921)

    Are all you humans this histrionic and emotionally narcissistic, or is it only the subclass of the species that lives in the United States? If it's the latter, what is it about your food supply or environment that makes you deserving of one of Bill Engvall's signs? Perhaps you should stop fluoridating your water?

    "Emotionally narcissistic" is the best term I can conceive to describe the irrational stupidity of people who would overreact to iconoclastic art... or games.

  • Also in the news! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drakonik (1193977) <drakonik@gmail.com> on Monday August 25, 2008 @10:10PM (#24746149) Homepage

    Our expert analysts determine whether paintings, novels, or sculptures can be used to make political or social commentary. Details at 11.

    Seriously though. What the FUCK? Yes, some video games are simply money-makers (Madden 1998-2XXX, anyone?), but others are used to really say something. There's one game called "Harpooned" that is a satire protesting Japanese "research" on whales. A video game is simply a digital canvas. Instead of crushed rocks and plants, we paint with pixels and code. If a video game isn't a piece of art in its own right, then nothing created by anyone is.

    Anyone who thinks that ANY medium is not proper for expressing ideas and beliefs is simply trying to restrict your ability to express YOUR ideas.

  • What it means (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bob Uhl (30977) <[eadmund42] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @10:50AM (#24751357) Homepage
    What it means is that these artists' parents never bothered to teach them discretion, taste or tact, and further that they seized on an opportunity for self-promotion. A week ago I had not heard either's name; today I have. Their stunt succeeded.

    Like spree murderers, we shouldn't publish their names. We should ignore them.

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