Oh, no. Not this debate again. Yes, I’m afraid so. To quote The Dude, “New shit has come to light, man.”
But not on purpose. Video games were the farthest thing from my mind as I was reading an interview on NYMag.com with David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and “Treme”. Simon used to be a journalist, but has moved on to television. His shows are known for their realistix slang, authenticity and frankly, being better than 90% of the stuff out there. He was asked, if he loves realism so much, why doesn’t he make documentaries. This was his response:
We know more about human pride, purpose, and obsession from Moby-Dick than from any contemporaneous account of the Nantucket whaler that was actually struck and sunk by a whale in the nineteenth-century incident on which Melville based his book. And we know how much of an affront the Spanish Civil War was to the human spirit when we stare at Picasso’s Guernica than when we read a more deliberate, fact-based account. I am not comparing anything I’ve done to any of the above; please, please do not presume that because I cite someone else’s art, I claim anything similar for anything I’ve done. But I cite the above because it makes the answer to your question obvious: Picasso said art is the lie that allows us to see the truth. That is it exactly.
Which stopped me in my tracks. We do, as a people, learn more about humanity from fiction than we do history books, which are devoid of emotion, but full of facts. Fiction may skimp on facts, but there is a soul there that highlights the best and worst of the world.
So my question is…what truth do video games allow us to see? What insights have you gleaned from playing games? I’m not talking about learning what a FAMAS is or even being more curious about Objectivism from playing Bioshock and looking it up on Wikipedia, but more of glimpses into the human condition and lessons of life that are readily apparent in other mediums. Answering this question will go a long way towards settling the debate on whether games are art or not.
Source – Nymag.com