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Last week the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 ruling, legally declared video games to be art, giving them the same constitutional protections as other media like visual art, music, and film.
The sudden declaration from a panel of nine septuagenarians about the validity of video games as an art form is not a singular turning point in our cultural relationship with video games, but it is as good an excuse as any to look at how the debate has evolved. Here a couple of interesting perspectives:
- Seth Schiesel writing for the New York Times suggests that video games need to “grow up” and that their designation as art has imbued them with a duty to contribute to society.
- Not long ago, Roger Ebert was excoriated by gamers everywhere after issuing his thoughts on the matter in a succinctly titled blog post, “Video games can never be art.” He later conceded to the angry gamers on his front lawn in a post with an equally efficient title: “Why video games are indeed Art.”
- There are indie game designers who have been using video game design as artistic expression. Here’s a profile from Esquire that focuses on the work of Jason Rohrer, an independent game designer who makes games that make you think as opposed to react.
- In 2006, Chuck Klosterman wondered why no one was writing about the artistic and cultural implications of video games.
- And finally a relatively new site that does just that.
Infomous is a dynamic and intuitive navigation solution – perhaps soon to pop up on websites you visit. Web developers for content-rich sites have integrated word cloud and tablet-style flip navigation over the past few years, but this is a solution that seems to combine aspects of both: reference triggers and dynamic script. The tool is currently available in preview/beta version through a relationship with the provider, but will roll out later this year, ready for embed. More info at Infomous – they have a demo up for world news, a version for sports news, entertainment news, science news. It’s easy to explore and find links to try.
Since everyone else seems to be talking about this spot, I figured I’d throw my two cents in. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s simple…Tiger stares into camera. Tiger’s dead father provides the voiceover. Cameras flash. Simple.
Most of the comments I’m seeing are critical, to say the least. Take this New York Times article:
“Did you learn anything?” Earl Woods asks. A valuable question, and one that his son has attempted to answer in his no-questions news conference in February; his brief interviews with ESPN and the Golf Channel last month; and his pre-Masters news conference on Monday.
But the answer to the father’s question appears to be that serial philandering and addiction rehab can be positioned as a commodity — and that you can roll it out in phases leading to the Nike amendment to the 12 steps: a TV commercial.
Personally, I like the spot. It’s an apology, a glimpse into Tiger’s conscience, and a return to the spotlight all rolled into one. When I read the criticism, I have to wonder what people expected. Short of keeping one of their marquee endorsers on the bench, or cutting him loose altogether, this was the only thing Nike could do.
Nike frames him as the fallen hero. Anything else would have been an outrage.
Kudos to The Awl for two fairly recent charts featuring publishing statistics from the past decade. The images are too tall to just recopy in a single post here, but click through to check them out. This trend data, sourced from the Magazine Publishers of America and Audit Bureau of Circulations, respectively, is very interesting, but I’m particularly fond of how they’ve crafted the charts – in a tall, blog-friendly format rather than on a standard wide frame: