Maybe games are not art after all

photo by IGN

Boing boing has bring up a interesting point: though many academics and some devs bust their ass out trying to prove otherwise, perhaps most gamers think of video games not as a art. Beschizza, one of Boing Boing writers, observed that throw a interesting discussion on G4. It all begun with Abbie Heppe review on Metroid other M, in which the critic focused not in the gameplay [though see also address it], but on Samus Aron, Metroid main character. Heppe mainly criticized the character construction,  since in all previous games Samus was a though hard core bounty hunter, whereas in other M, she is shown insecure and childish.

This outlook on Metroid shows that Heppe believe that games are more then just “enjoyment apparatus”, that they also tell you an history and that its values and characters are important to the hole game experience. But a reasonable portion of Heppe’s readers don’t seem to agree with that since, as Beschizza put it,

Though she also covered gameplay issues in her review, responses from G4’s readers were often negative. Of the hundreds of comments published, many attacked the author directly. Amid the predictable misogyny and hostility, a pattern emerges: it’s just a game. Some even claimed that it was unprofessional to talk about such matters in a game review.

Also, but that unfortunately wasn’t noticed by Beschizza, Heppe’s review made its way to the G4 forums, where the main focus changed to sexualizing Samus, but the more than one hundred replies to it make a interesting point. Almost half replies corroborate Beschizza outlook, that the “cinematics” aspects shouldn’t be taken so serious: it’s a game, it doesn’t matter if Samus is nude or wears a mail armour or if she is a though marine or a childish young woman. But the other half was more interested in discussing the narrative aspects of Metroid other M. Even those who didn’t agree with Heppe’s arguments made their points based on Metroid history.

So, could the different kinds of audience have such completely different points of views of video games?