Lostedge Feb 11, 2013 @ 6:43am
Art games on steam
Should there be a new category in steam just for art games or should they be removed?

Dear Ester
Bientôt l'été
The Graveyard
Proteus

What are your thoughts on these games?
Last edited by Lostedge; Feb 11, 2013 @ 6:43am
Showing 1-15 of 17 comments
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Spawn of Totoro Feb 11, 2013 @ 6:46am 
Leave them where they are.

Not enough of them to create a new catagory (yet), no reason to remove them.
FattyMooMooMan Feb 11, 2013 @ 2:10pm 
There are enough arty games and games that crossover into this category on steam now for them to have a category of their own - perhaps this could stop some disgruntled players from buying games they dont want?

As for the removal of games because some people dont like the game style - I find that to be a selfish approach. I don't like football manager but I am sure there would be uproar if it was removed. There is a market out there for these games so better to leave them on steam, just make it clear what they are.

(I have a large steam games collection and I do own a few such games and its a mixed bag - I like some and dislike others, I can however ignore games I don't have interest in and leave the buy button alone).
Broax Feb 11, 2013 @ 2:19pm 
Maybe it's just me but I disagree with such a category. All games in a way or another should be granted some artistic merit (as most movies and books). As I understand it that's what keeps them from being regulated in the US (which benefits all markets). So IMHO such a category wouldn't only be a bit pretentious (I'm not calling pretentious) but demeaning to games that don't fall on that category according to your criteria.

Also it would probably bias some players from trying such games if they weren't particularly interested and if they link them to foreign movies. Such a comparison would be lacking but inevitable so I think it would do more harm then good.
FattyMooMooMan Feb 11, 2013 @ 2:26pm 
I dont see how adding a category causes a problem - for instance many view 30 flights of loving as a story or piece of artwork rather than just a game, it is already under - adventure, indie, casual. Adding another category of say art/story would just be adding another way to filter those games and when coming across the game under a category such as adventure you would see the art/story label on the right panel and have an indication that its playstayle is unusual.

I am not suggesting that we place them into solitary confinement, just giving the purchaser more information.

Being granted some artistic merit is not the same as being labelled a work of art.

edit: Maybe the category could be headed something like 'expressive media'
Last edited by FattyMooMooMan; Feb 11, 2013 @ 2:29pm
Τhe Rolling Cheese Wheel Feb 11, 2013 @ 2:41pm 
Originally posted by Broax:
Maybe it's just me but I disagree with such a category. All games in a way or another should be granted some artistic merit (as most movies and books). As I understand it that's what keeps them from being regulated in the US (which benefits all markets). So IMHO such a category wouldn't only be a bit pretentious (I'm not calling pretentious) but demeaning to games that don't fall on that category according to your criteria.

Also it would probably bias some players from trying such games if they weren't particularly interested and if they link them to foreign movies. Such a comparison would be lacking but inevitable so I think it would do more harm then good.

There is a difference between a game that is pure art and a game that includes artistic value.

Dear Esther versus Borderlands 2 for example.
P.!.c.K.!.e! Feb 11, 2013 @ 4:21pm 
Here's a game that combines artistic abilities with gameplay:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/artizens/artizens-0?ref=home_spotlight

I think it can be tagged in both the adventure and art category. Even the name of the game evokes Art---> ARTIZENS. They even plan to have a trading post to sell your art in-game! I can see a lot of artists playing this alongside hard-core PC gamers (MAC and Linux support too).

So, how would you categorize this?

Gus the Crocodile Feb 11, 2013 @ 4:54pm 
Originally posted by The Rolling Cheese:
There is a difference between a game that is pure art and a game that includes artistic value.

Dear Esther versus Borderlands 2 for example.
Well there is a difference between Dear Esther and Borderlands 2, clearly. But there's also a different between Borderlands 2 and Unity of Command, or between Unity of Command and Limbo.

The differences are many. But they're all art.
Broax Feb 11, 2013 @ 4:54pm 
Originally posted by The Rolling Cheese:
There is a difference between a game that is pure art and a game that includes artistic value.

Dear Esther versus Borderlands 2 for example.

I'm sorry, I definitely understand what you're getting at but I don't fully agree... This discussion requires far more insight of art (and what art is) then what I have to give, but as I understand it "art" isn't that easy to define. It's especially hard to try to draw a border around it. Mozart is probably universally perceived as art while Justin Bieber probably isn't...

Where would one draw a line between the two? Is there a thing such as "Art" music and "non-art" music? As far as I can guess we could spend weeks trying to figure out what such category should include and then years trying to siphon which games should belong there... But even then we would get angry developers that consider their game an artistic masterpiece.

I understand your point but for me (personally) art is art... If videogames are an artistic medium then each expression is an individual form of art. Some are good, some are bad. Like there are good painters and bad painters, good musicians and bad ones.

Even if the proposed line would single out "pop" games that are produced solely to sell, even then who can strip its artistic merit? Is Michael Jackson or Madonna an artist?

And honestly, if I tried hard enough I genuinely feel I could explain a game like Duke Nukem from an artistic point of view.

That's why I personally don't feel there should be a distinction. Much less in a store such as steam. There are a ton of sites that discuss the more artistic side of videogames but I don't think anyone can rule a game out of being "art" just because it doesn't fit to his/hers criteria.
Last edited by Broax; Feb 11, 2013 @ 4:55pm
Spawn of Totoro Feb 11, 2013 @ 5:05pm 
Originally posted by Broax:
That's why I personally don't feel there should be a distinction. Much less in a store such as steam. There are a ton of sites that discuss the more artistic side of videogames but I don't think anyone can rule a game out of being "art" just because it doesn't fit to his/hers criteria.

Art is in the eye of the beholder. Just as what makes a good game. :-P
Broax Feb 11, 2013 @ 5:08pm 
Originally posted by Spawn of Totoro:
Art is in the eye of the beholder. Just as what makes a good game. :-P

That's why such a category would be arbitrary and flawed... =)
Last edited by Broax; Feb 11, 2013 @ 5:12pm
Τhe Rolling Cheese Wheel Feb 11, 2013 @ 5:10pm 
Originally posted by Broax:
Originally posted by The Rolling Cheese:
There is a difference between a game that is pure art and a game that includes artistic value.

Dear Esther versus Borderlands 2 for example.

I'm sorry, I definitely understand what you're getting at but I don't fully agree... This discussion requires far more insight of art (and what art is) then what I have to give, but as I understand it "art" isn't that easy to define. It's especially hard to try to draw a border around it. Mozart is probably universally perceived as art while Justin Bieber probably isn't...

Where would one draw a line between the two? Is there a thing such as "Art" music and "non-art" music? As far as I can guess we could spend weeks trying to figure out what such category should include and then years trying to siphon which games should belong there... But even then we would get angry developers that consider their game an artistic masterpiece.

I understand your point but for me (personally) art is art... If videogames are an artistic medium then each expression is an individual form of art. Some are good, some are bad. Like there are good painters and bad painters, good musicians and bad ones.

Even if the proposed line would single out "pop" games that are produced solely to sell, even then who can strip its artistic merit? Is Michael Jackson or Madonna an artist?

And honestly, if I tried hard enough I genuinely feel I could explain a game like Duke Nukem from an artistic point of view.

That's why I personally don't feel there should be a distinction. Much less in a store such as steam. There are a ton of sites that discuss the more artistic side of videogames but I don't think anyone can rule a game out of being "art" just because it doesn't fit to his/hers criteria.

Ya I argued against quite a few people on the topic of video game art. It'll be quite a long time before anyone can settle on a universal definition of the phrase "art games."

Personally my criteria for pure art games is like this..

If the game cannot stand on it's own without focusing on just the art, then it's an art game. That has worked for me for quite some time now. If we took away all the dialogue and graphics of borderlands 2, it can still be a playable item farming game. If we took away all the graphics and narration of Dear Esther, it ceases to have any value.
Spawn of Totoro Feb 11, 2013 @ 5:14pm 
Originally posted by The Rolling Cheese:
Ya I argued against quite a few people on the topic of video game art. It'll be quite a long time before anyone can settle on a universal definition of the phrase "art games."

Personally my criteria for pure art games is like this..

If the game cannot stand on it's own without focusing on just the art, then it's an art game. That has worked for me for quite some time now. If we took away all the dialogue and graphics of borderlands 2, it can still be a playable item farming game. If we took away all the graphics and narration of Dear Esther, it ceases to have any value.

Here's a hard one for you.

http://www.okami-game.com/

:-)

Take the dialogue and graphicas, it is still playable, but it just isn't the same as when you leave them in.
Last edited by Spawn of Totoro; Feb 11, 2013 @ 5:16pm
Broax Feb 11, 2013 @ 5:22pm 
Originally posted by The Rolling Cheese:
Ya I argued against quite a few people on the topic of video game art. It'll be quite a long time before anyone can settle on a universal definition of the phrase "art games."

Personally my criteria for pure art games is like this..

If the game cannot stand on it's own without focusing on just the art, then it's an art game. That has worked for me for quite some time now. If we took away all the dialogue and graphics of borderlands 2, it can still be a playable item farming game. If we took away all the graphics and narration of Dear Esther, it ceases to have any value.

I get you... But what would you say about a game like "Journey"? Part of what makes it an art expression would be its gameplay. But if you take that away it would seize to be a game... The same goes for braid...

(Please note I said "part of"... I'm well aware both games have a strong aesthetic and other elements that definitely contribute to its "artistic" recognition, but my argument stands with gameplay which makes them so unique and is at the same time one of the unique attributes of videogames. It would be like removing a brush from a painting.)
Last edited by Broax; Feb 11, 2013 @ 5:23pm
[nBn] elli ♥ (nosound) Feb 11, 2013 @ 5:45pm 
Originally posted by Broax:
Originally posted by Spawn of Totoro:
Art is in the eye of the beholder. Just as what makes a good game. :-P

That's why such a category would be arbitrary and flawed... =)

I kind of have to agree. While I understand the intention for creating such a genre, it would be hard to define. Nearly all games produced nowadays have some sort of graphical content. What is the line between keeping up with the graphical demands of the gaming community, versus when the artwork becomes an integral part of the game?

I think if you do not like those sorts of games, it is just as easy to watch the trailer, look up reviews, see a little bit of a playthrough on youtube... Tons of ways to determine whether or not the gameplay is something you would enjoy.

And like all game genres, this particular one would probably have a wide variety of different styles of gameplay. It's hard to lump all of these games together and say, "we should make a genre for these so that people who don't like them can avoid them." I understand the intent - I, for example, dislike sports and simulation games - But I think for such a hard-to-define genre, it'd be difficult to pass it off and say, "oh no, I wouldn't like that game. it's an ART game." When, maybe, the game in question is an isometric RPG and you disliked the third-person "art" games you played. What I am trying to say is, I understand when you want to avoid a game based off style, but adding an "art" genre to me would seem like it would be adding a variety of play styles.
PleaseHoldOn Feb 11, 2013 @ 6:22pm 
Why exactly is removing them even an option?
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Date Posted: Feb 11, 2013 @ 6:43am
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