August 5, 2011
1 Into the Pixel
2 Into the Pixel
3 Into the Pixel
4 Into the Pixel
Video games have often been dogged by criticisms not only because of their partiality to be of a violent nature but also for the ‘sedentary’ lifestyles they cause.
Given the rampant critique of video games, referring to such entertainment as art rarely holds much prevalence. Although at E3, the annual video game conference and show held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the almost one-sided debate to whether video games could possibly be considered art is a closed-question, as the gallery-style exhibition is dedicated to proving that video games are most definitely art.
The “Into the Pixel” exhibition is now in its eighth year and comprises of 17 images that were selected out of hundreds of submissions. All the images have been created for video games and include subjects usually associated with video games such as spaceships, dragons and monsters, as well as more abstract images that would not look out of place in an Andy Warhol exhibition.
The video game images on display at the LA Convention Center have been created by a variety of electronic design companies ranging the major companies such as Sony to smaller independent games manufacturers.
Talking about video games emergence as a form of art, Tyler Breon, whose image “Cronos Battle” is displayed at this year’s E3, said:
“Video-game art, like other emerging art forms, needed time to earn wider acceptance. You look at all kinds of media that were new – anything that’s new, people aren’t really comfortable with initially.”
The same way in which comic books are now considered a form of creative expression and art after years of derision, Breon believes video games are moving within the same realms as other genres of art that started out to be considered crass and even vulgar.
“I think the longer they’re [people] are exposed to it, they become more comfortable with it,” the Sony designer continued.
Reiterating Breon’s thoughts that video games may have reached a turning point in its quest to be considered ‘art’, is the fact that last month the national Endowment for the Arts announced that video gaming would join media genres such as film, television and radio in being eligible for government support and funding.
Not only will video game designers be eligible for government funding but the Smithsonian Institute has announced that next year it will open “The Art of Video Games” exhibition, designed to celebrate images developed by the industry.
The “Into the Pixel” exhibition will tour various venues, festivals and conventions for the next twelve months, proving that video games, in their unique and abstract representation of both fantasy and reality, can be considered as being ‘art’.