I’m getting pretty tired of this push to call everything some sort of art form. You see it the most with people online talking about video games, or at least, that’s where the rhetoric is at its most obnoxious. Categorize video games in their proper place and preclude any possibility that they could be works of art and suddenly the pretentious YouTube reviewer fan squads start crawling out of the woodwork enraged as if you’ve leveled an insult directly at them.
I’ve been meaning to do a Friday longpost on the topic of art and video games for a while, but other topics have been taking priority. The details and actual argumentation for what I’m saying will be ironed out in that, if I ever get around to writing it. Maybe it’ll be this week!
In the meantime, sit back and think about what art is and means and whether leveling the accusation “This thing here is a work of art!” is in any way a compliment. The term itself has become so degraded over the last century that it’s no surprise that there’s so much confusion surrounding it, but at the same time, given all the awful, ugly, emotionally- and intellectually-stunted pieces of garbage that have been churned out by the contemporary art world over the last couple of generations, it makes one wonder how exactly the word “art” can still be viewed in a favorable light. I guess that goes to show the resiliency of some words in their ability to retain meaning, since most people hopefully still think of Rembrandt or Michelangelo rather than whatever can be found in the Hirschhorn this weekend.
Either that, or somehow, the contemporary art world still carries a fair bit of prestige despite the obviousness of its nepotistic self-indulgence and its shameless lack of talent. I find it hard to believe anyone would be that gullible that isn’t already born in that circle, though.