I stumbled upon this article
on Blogcritics.org which essentially makes the case that perhaps the solution to gratuitious violence in video games is to make games more violent. The author uses Saving Private Ryan
as an example of how violence and gore, used correctly, can make a bigger impact than the watered down faux violence of, say, the "cartoony" GTA
series which he compares to a Looney Tunes cartoon. What the author fails to conclude, however, is that Looney Tunes, while "art" in its own right (entertainment art), isn't the same kind of "art" (classical art) that we see in a movie such as Saving Private Ryan
...the kind of art that is Guernica
, meant to move you, bring you to a place and time, make you feel what those who were going through it felt.
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Anyway, that's the distinction which must be made in the nascent video game world: are there some games that are meant as pieces of art rather than as entertainment or are all games, by definition, entertainment? For that matter, are classic works of art also meant as entertainment?
These types of questions will be answered as we move forward and video games become more and more part of the fabric of our lives.