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Best Of Member Blogs: From Games To Art (Or Not)

Showcasing highlights from Gamasutra's Member Blogs, we hand out a lifetime Game Developer magazine subscription for an examination into the evolution of Western "art," and why it may be irreleva
In our weekly Best of Member Blogs column, we showcase notable pieces of writing from members of the game community who maintain Member Blogs on Gamasutra. Member Blogs can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while invitation-only Expert Blogs -- also highlighted weekly -- are written by selected development professionals. Our favorite blog post of the week will earn its author a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra's sister publication, Game Developer magazine. (All magazine recipients outside of the United States or Canada will receive lifetime electronic subscriptions.) We hope that our blog sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information, check out the official posting guidelines. This Week's Standout Member Blogs - Why Games Are Not Art (Tom Newman) To the neverending debates about games as art, Tom Newman would like to say: shut up already. Actually, he said it in a much more educated, eloquent way, delving into the gradual conception of the modern Western view of "art" -- and its arguable demise. For his effort, Tom will receive a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra sister publication Game Developer magazine. - Good Practice: Animation as Gameplay (Christiaan Moleman) In games, animation is not just a part of visual aesthetics -- it can add significantly to the fundamental gameplay experience. Here, animator Christiaan Moleman highlights the ways that games like Ico, Outcast, Assassin's Creed, and the Half-Life series exhibit that principle. - GDC 2009 Coverage (Jim McGinley) For yet another week, the masterful Jim McGinley continues his somewhat insane GDC coverage. Standout lines include "You read that right. There were grapes in my sandwich," and "Computers - will they ever be fast?" Plus -- Jim identifies the ultimate commercially-released "first date game." - Not Quick, Time-Consuming Events (Aaron Pierce) While not a new mechanic by any means, in just a few years, the quick time event has become practically ubiquitous across all direct-control-based game genres. But they have plenty of critics; here, Aaron Pierce deems them "lazy game design" and explains why. He calls for discussion in the comments, and gets plenty of it. - Forget Fun. Is It Engaging? (Reid Kimball) The number of times meaningful discussion about games is waylaid by a dismissive comment like "Well, none of that matters as long as it's fun" is enraging to me -- and apparently to Reid Kimball as well. It's a vague term, and it doesn't come close to describing all the ways entertainment can succeed. Here, he argues for additional alternative adjectives such as "engaging."

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