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Government Games

US Government Recognizes, Funds Video Games As Art 58

Posted by Soulskill
from the sorry-roger dept.
Kilrah_il writes "The National Endowment for the Arts recently published their criteria for next year's Arts in Media grants. One of the key changes is the inclusion of video games as works of art. 'Projects may include high profile multi-part or single television and radio programs (documentaries and dramatic narratives); media created for theatrical release; performance programs; artistic segments for use within an existing series; multi-part webisodes; installations; and interactive games. Short films, five minutes and under, will be considered in packages of three or more.' For those who worry that game companies will try to get a grant for a commercial game, notice that the grant is only for non-profit organizations."
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US Government Recognizes, Funds Video Games As Art

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  • I would never have supposed the arts agency had it in them!
  • by Anon-Admin (443764) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @02:42PM (#36169192) Homepage Journal
    Is this the year of linux games? With finding from "The National Endowment for the Arts" ;)
  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @02:55PM (#36169366)

    notice that the grant is only for non-profit organizations."

    You mean like the National Football league which makes billions of dollars a year and is a 501(c)6 designated nonprofit organization?

    • by vlm (69642)

      notice that the grant is only for non-profit organizations."

      You mean like the National Football league which makes billions of dollars a year and is a 501(c)6 designated nonprofit organization?

      I envision a national StarCraft league...

  • The same country that recognizes ketchup and potato chips as vegetables now recognizes game as High Art.
    This will suuuuuurely end the debate once and for all!

    • by koreaman (835838)

      Va plus sur ce site si tu toleres pas les Américains. Franchement j'en ai marre de ces francophone qui croient que c'est eux le seul peuple civilisé du monde, ou que les Etats-Unis sont un pays de sauvages. Oui il y a des sauvages ici, mais pas plus qu'en France (ou en Belgique, Québec, etc... je sais pas exactement d'oà tu viens)

      • by Destoo (530123)

        Je crois que tu as manque le *sarcasme* de mon commentaire, unfortunately. And it's probably because english is not your first language, which is all right with me. There's no sarcasm emoticon.
        I'm very far from not tolerating Americans. I consider myself as one, and having worked at IBM for more than 8 years, most of my customers were from the US. (same thing with the next company I worked at, with 80% of the business being with ISPs in the US)

        • by koreaman (835838)

          I'll respond in English because you did in the majority of your post is in that language, leading me to believe that you are more comfortable in it than in French.

          I'm sorry for missing the sarcasm in your post; your typically French half-joking anti-Americanism and your French signature made me think that you identified ethnically as a member of some Francophone culture. Since you identify as American, the situation is completely different -- I believe in Jesus's teaching to "take the plank out of your own

    • by drb226 (1938360)
      That's like the opposite of correlation != causation.
    • by digitig (1056110)

      The same country that recognizes ketchup and potato chips as vegetables now recognizes game as High Art.

      Who said anything about high art?

    • Dear God, I sure hope so.

      Ebert is an idiot who doesn't recognize that while a picture or song that could stand on its own is considered "art" but yet if the same thing is included inside a computer game, somehow it is no longer art. He is archaic relic from the past who doesn't grok "The _medium_ does not matter."

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Ebert is not an idiot, by any stretch. He's WRONG, and has even kind of hedged that way.

        Thinking people are idiots because they disagree only means you aren't actually thinking about their arguments, and you are underestimating them.

        And the medium Does matter in art. It's a factor.

        • Ebert is not an idiot, granted, in general.

          Concerning this specific topic, he certainly acted like an idiotic illiterate know-it-all, specifically because he pontificated on the issue of games being ineligible to be considered as art while not having played a single one.

    • You know what? This is the best comment. All of the other comments should go away. This one. This one right here is the best. It is.
  • There's hardly a shortage of video games out there. Given the deficit problem we already have, why should we be spending money to produce a good that is already being produced in massive quantities, particularly a good that only the well off (who can afford high end PC's or expensive gaming equipment and subscription) will be able to take advantage of?

    Isn't this essentially just forcing people to purchase games that aren't selling on their own merits?

    • It seems like you didn't even read the SUMMARY. Impressive.

      We have a National Endowment for the Arts program. It funds artists via grants because we've decided, as a country, that the arts are important. Now the types of art that are allowed to be funded includes video games.

      "Isn't this essentially just forcing people to purchase games that aren't selling on their own merits?" No more than it's "forcing people to purchase paintings that aren't selling on their own merits" or "forcing people to pay for

      • Yes, but the difference is that those paintings and those fruit cups are actually available to everyone. We have public museums where people can go to see the paintings or public schools where kids can go to eat the fruitcups.

        Video games are only accessible to the more affluent sections of society. It seems backward to tax everyone to subsidize the past times of the upper quintiles.

        • How are video games only accessible to "the more affluent sections of society?" What stops a museum from having computers set up for people to experience the games, the same way that people experience paintings? Your logic is flawed.

          http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/05/06/2124229/Smithsonian-Unveils-Art-of-Games-Voting-Results [slashdot.org]

          • by Adambomb (118938)

            What stops a museum from having computers set up for people to experience the games

            10$ on 'Museum Curators'.

            • You know there's alot of museums that have movie theaters and tvs and vcrs to display motion art that has been done in the past. I see no reason a museum that has that would not have something to have a game in it. I think this is awesome since it will give encouragement and funding to people who want to explore the medium as an art form and not necessarily as just an entertainment platform. I'd love to experience some games that are designed just to cause a flow of emotions even if they aren't incredibl
    • Stormy Dragon: Given the deficit problem we already have, why should we be spending money to produce a good that is already being produced in massive quantities, particularly a good that only the well off (who can afford high end PC's or expensive gaming equipment and subscription) will be able to take advantage of?

      There's a little more to it than just shoveling money at video game companies. Down below I posted a one-sentence paragraph from the article. Here are the ones from right before and right after

      • by vlm (69642)

        So just summarize this for me, is nethack eligible for a grant or not? I was always more of a TOME and Angband player but I recognize the great ancestors...

        • Oh, you joke.

          Nethack, as itself? Almost certainly not. Nethack, reskinned to immerse the player in an artistic or cultural situation? With a sufficient advertising budget to convince people to actually play it? That might pass and, depending on the situation or scenario you present, it might even be worthwhile.

          As a further example, remember that any game which would be suitable for this grant doesn't even necessarily have to be playable, just evocative. Consider the innocuous-seeming board game Train [escapistmagazine.com], whi

  • Given the terms of the grant, I see them having trouble finding appropriate projects to fund. For that reason, I can't help worrying that this all could go down poorly.

    On the one hand, sure, they're going to give these grants to smaller, actual "indie" development groups. But on the other hand...

    TFA: In order to reach the widest possible audience, priority will be given to projects that include substantive public engagement strategies, including well articulated social media strategies.

    If I'm reading this

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You're not reading that right.

      An inde developer who has a game the uses social media would qualify.

      The ability to use social media in an articulate manner doesn't equal PR division.

  • Okay, I know that there are some video games that have originated in other nations that were made partially with government grants. The problem is that I can't find any citations! Anyone remember some of these?

    My mind is saying Syberia and The Longest Journey were partially funded by grants from Norway and Canada but I can't find citations. I'm pretty sure that France also has a grant for video game development.

  • I really like what the guy who wrote this article had to say: "Government Says Video Games are Art....Yeah, Thanks" [world-gaming.com] In short, that's great and all, but we already knew games were art. We never needed your approval in the first place, and anyone who still doesn't agree (*cough* Ebert,) well that's your loss. (Except he said it a lot better in the long version.)
  • Well I guess now that the NEA has slapped down Ebert's pronouncement that video games are not art he'll have to reverse his opinion. http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/04/video_games_can_never_be_art.html [suntimes.com]
  • not-for-profit endeavors?
  • They aren't exactly known for their discerning nature. Maybe wait for some organization with some respect to memorialize video games before declaring vindication.
  • Section 8 of the constitution states:
    • The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
    • A bunch of stuff... taxes, military, post office..
    • To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and di

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