John Lanchester über Games und Kunst

21.12.2008 Games Misc #Art

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John Lanchester hat für London Review Of Books einen sehr interessanten Artikel über die Zukunft der Kunstform Games geschrieben. Ich finde ja, dass Games (noch) ein paar Schritte davon entfernt sind, wirklich kulturell „relevant“ zu werden, was auch immer das heissen mag, denn tatsächlich sind sie in ihrer Zielgruppe jetzt schon neben dem Netz das wohl relevanteste Kulturgut und das Sandbox-Konzept (GTA) oder auch die unheimlich detailverliebte Gestaltung von Bioshock geben da schonmal eine gute Marschrichtung vor. Grade deshalb ist es eigentlich ziemlich interessant, dass Games kulturell praktisch nicht stattfinden. Aber das wird sich (selbstverständlich) ändern. Schon bald.

From the economic point of view, this was the year video games overtook music and video, combined, in the UK. The industries’ respective share of the take is forecast to be £4.64 billion and £4.46 billion. (For purposes of comparison, UK book publishers’ total turnover in 2007 was £4.1 billion.) As a rule, economic shifts of this kind take a while to register on the cultural seismometer; and indeed, from the broader cultural point of view, video games barely exist. The newspapers cover the movies extensively, and while it isn’t necessary to feel that they do all that great a job of it, there’s no denying that they have a try. Video games by contrast are consigned to the nerdy margins of the papers, and are pretty much invisible in broadcast media. Video-game fans return the favour: they constitute the demographic group least likely to pay attention to newspapers and are increasingly uninterested in the ‘MSM’, or mainstream media.

There is no other medium that produces so pure a cultural segregation as video games, so clean-cut a division between the audience and the non-audience. Books, films, TV, dance, theatre, music, painting, photography, sculpture, all have publics which either are or aren’t interested in them, but at least know that these forms exist, that things happen in them in which people who are interested in them are interested. They are all part of our current cultural discourse. Video games aren’t. Video games have people who play them, and a wider public for whom they simply don’t exist. (The exceptions come in the form of occasional tabloid horror stories, always about a disturbed youth who was ‘inspired’ to do something terrible by a video game.) Their invisibility is interesting in itself, and also allows interesting things to happen in games under the cultural radar.

John Lanchester: Is it Art? (via Thomas' Delicious)