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How Games are Art

In around 100 words.

Note: A very slightly extended version - with larger images and a few of Dutton's explanatory quotes - is up at my personal blog.

In 2009, aesthetician Denis Dutton wrote The Art Instinct. There, aiming for something inclusive and objective, he outlined twelve cross-cultural criteria for art. I like Dutton for his mix of accessibility and intellect, so use his criteria as a starting line in the search for a language of the aesthetic experience.


1. Direct Pleasure


2. Skill & Virtuosity

Some creators:

Levine

Blow

Anthropy

Chung

 

3. Style


4. Novelty & Creativity



5. Criticism

Some critics:

Bissell

McGonigal

Hernandez

Ebert

Bogost


6. Representation


7. Special Focus


8. Expressive Individuality



9. Emotional Saturation


10. Intellectual Challenge


11. Art Traditions & Institutions


12. Imaginative Experience



That’s how some games are already art, and how others might get better.

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