Top 5 Video Games as Art
2. Deus Ex
Deus Ex, brainchild of celebrated game designer Warren Spector, serves as an analysis of the relationship between player and developer within a video game. At its surface level, Deus Ex is a cyberpunk roleplaying game with an engrossing narrative and an emphasis on emergent gameplay. It is also a game that is aware that someone is playing it, and adjusts as such.
The modern shooter adheres to the Mario point-a-to-point-b archetype, but Deus Ex points out the things that players explore simply because they are in a world without consequences. Players are only able to play as a male, and when exploring a friendly military base devious individuals will take the video game opportunity to see some level designer's interpretation of the women's restroom. The player is greeted by an angry HR rep in the midst of freshening up, and is later chided by his boss for an inability to adhere to gender norms. Not being an inadvertent pervert keeps the player from all of the aforementioned funny dialogue.
The joke feels a bit like a weirdly inappropriate joke in a serious artistic work. Deus Ex's narrative fourth wall, much like the artistic works in the linked Cracked article, serve as a slapstick break from an otherwise-serious piece.
|Players build neat stuff in that game|
Minecraft (and honorable mentions)
This is not by any means the most artsy game of all time. It's just one of hundreds of outlets seen in gaming as an outlet for creative expression. Players create pixel art, massive structures, and dedicate hundreds of hours to create lego cities online with their friends.
Even without sandbox games like Minecraft, gamers will continue
creating emergent art stemming from the supposedly-mindless
entertainment millions of us enjoy. Below are links to other
artsy-ish games that you might find enjoyable.
Braid: Interesting deconstruction of game design
Bastion: Comforting narrator explains well-drawn murder spree
Galatea: Interact with a living sculpture within the confines of a text adventure
Dear Esther: Noncombat exploration-based game with a unique narrative
Machinarium: Cute steampunk adventure