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Feature: 'Are Games Art? (Here We Go Again...)'

For today's exclusive main feature, we talk to a number of notable industry figures, including Tim Schafer, Peter Molyneux, Ian Bogost, and Denis Dyack, who weigh in on the age-old ques
For today's exclusive main feature, we talk to a number of notable industry figures, including Tim Schafer, Peter Molyneux, Ian Bogost, and Denis Dyack, who weigh in on the age-old question, "Are games art?" In this excerpt, Psychonauts creator Tim Schafer and Black & White and Fable lead Peter Molyneux agree that while games' status as art might be important, it's not the all encompassing goal when developing games: "Schafer’s intentions when developing a game are a bit less focused on “making art.” “I only strive to make the best game I can, and I naturally build them around things that interest me,” he says. “I like characters, and characters are best when they express feelings. But I never set out thinking, ‘Okay, gotta make some art here.’” Molyneux says he and his crew at Lionhead Studios (now part of Microsoft) take a similar approach to creating games. “Does a painter decide to make art or paint a picture? Does a composer decide to compose a piece of music or make art? Does a film maker want to make a film or art? I think they're more concerned with evoking emotions and creating something meaningful and enduring. “I set out, especially today, to instill emotions in the people who interact with my games, which are broader and more visual than they have been before,” he explains. “I want players to feel a range of emotions, not just excitement—that is my ambition. If on this basis some critics describe this as artistic, then I will feel like I have succeeded.”" You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, with much more thoughtful discussion from Schafer, Molyneux, and others on Ebert's dismissal of the games as art notion and more (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).

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