Yes, okay. I’ll admit it. I’ve been keeping a secret from you.
I, Jeannie Marie, am a game tuber.
Or…game tuber watcher. Game tuber-er? I don’t know what we’re called, but I watch GameTube. *gasp*
Thanks to Jimmy Kimmel, there’s a large percentage of people who know what game tube is. But for those of you that don’t know, which I’m still assuming is a large percentage of people, GameTube is the new Youtube website specifically devoted to gaming. Or rather, watching people game. And I mean game as in video games (like people actually play football anymore. Pshhhhhhhhh).
And yes, you can laugh. The thing I found the funniest about Jimmy Kimmel’s segment is that yeah…it’s stupid. I will be the first one to admit that. Watching people play video games is kind of weird and silly. So I’m not here to defend people who watch them, or even defend myself. I’m here to think. To wonder.
Is game-watching a new form of entertainment? And if so…can it be art?
Well let’s think about this. Art, of course, has to be defined before game-watching can be put in this category. And I have no clue how to define art. If you have a nice handy dandy definition, please share, because this is something I’ve been struggling with since coming to this university.
In one sense, I guess game-watching is art. I mean, it’s entertainment, and it’s on a platform where people can view it and share it. I know there are plenty of things on YouTube right now that I’d consider art, mostly of the audio/visual kind, for obvious reasons. There’s adaptations of novels, music videos, original short series, and everything in between. I don’t think you can call YouTube art, but it’s pretty dang close, especially when art is closely aligned (but not defined as) entertainment. So yes, game-watching is entertainment. Part of the reason why people watch other people play video games is because of the people, not because of the game itself.
But what is the game itself? Is that art too, or is that something completely separate from the personalities playing the games?
This, I think, is a bit clearer. Yes, video games are art – commercial art, yes, but art nonetheless. It isn’t fair to call the latest Pixar/Miyazaki/Dreamworks movie “art” and not call video game design art. There’s some dang beautiful video games out there, both in visuals and specs. Ever heard of Limbo? There’s also a lot to be said about the storytelling aspect. I mean, open-world games like Destiny or Grand Theft Auto might not really float your boat, but if you play a game with a really good story, you’re mesmerized.
So there’s the video game side. But then there’s people…some comedians for all intents and purposes. Are they art? Certainly entertaining…but art?
Hmmm. The world may never know.