+1000 (Gaming)

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Saturday, March 06, 2021, 12:39 (60 days ago) @ Claude Errera
edited by Kermit, Saturday, March 06, 2021, 12:53

Anything a person (or company) creates and brings to life is an artifact of its context and the perspective of the creator at that time.

Yes, but that's not the same thing as being political. There is more context than political. There is more perspectives than the political. Most of all, there is more to creators than the political. At least if they don't themselves subscribe to the belief that that's the motivation behind why they create, in which case, they aren't creating art, but I repeat myself.

You're not actually disagreeing here - with Mal's words. You're disagreeing with what you think Mal is saying (and I don't think he's saying what you think he's saying).

Anything you create, at any given point in time, is a product that has been affected by who you are. That means that all art is political. And all art is cultural. And all art is trauma-based, to the extent that you've experienced trauma (and most of us have, to some degree or another). Saying "all art is political" is NOT saying that art is not affected by other aspects of your psyche, or your environment, or the world you live in. DENYING that all art is political, however, is asserting that you can create something that's outside your own frame of reference, you can make things that have no relation to who you are. I don't think you can. (I'm not talking about you, Kermit - I'm talking about humans.) I'm not an art historian, but I'm pretty sure that if you pointed to any particular piece of art, SOMEONE could explain how it was tied to its creator.

I'll agree that art can be created that transcends the mundanity of the world it was born in - that we can consciously ignore the world around us to create something that's bigger than we are, bigger than we can normally be. But that doesn't make it non-political.

I see you arguing pretty hard against this because (as you've said) you believe that any politically-influenced art is propaganda. That's where I think you're wrong.

Not a pull a GV here, but I've been thinking about your post for a while. First up: politically-influenced art. I just reread Animal Farm. It's obviously influenced by the politics of its day (and is relevant to our day). What makes it relevant today is less the obvious parallels to and inspiration drawn from the particulars of the rise of Stalin, but more the humanity of the characters and how these characters are corrupted by their power over others. Yes, it has been used by governments as propaganda (notably altered in some manifestations), but at this point it's as likely to be used by the left or the right to highlight the corruption and hypocrisy of either. The fact that it can be used to criticize both speaks to its power as art, which can transcend the particulars of political beliefs (even the artist's) to reveal larger, more important truths. There are wheels behind the wheels of politics.

Regarding the particulars of Iraq, consider two relatively opposite positions: one says the US (shorthand for brevity) were right to go there, did much good while there, and should not have left, another says we had evil intentions in going there and committed war crimes while there. I'm not an expert or a scholar, but I find both positions controversial and debatable, and I won't be measuring the worth of this game by how well it litigates the truth of those positions, nor would I endorse the mindset that, to coin a phrase, "the game is either with us, or it's with the warmongers/anti-American peaceniks." And that's where saying "they can't help but be political" seems to take us.

I THINK I understand INSANE when he says war is political commentary, but to me the comment is politics has failed or, as someone said, war is politics by other means. Within any war, there are individual stories that are the grist of art, and those stories, artfully told, affect us more than any political argument about war could. (This is where I have less humility--I've been pretty obsessed with stories for about 50 years, and I've also cared about how games make us feel about war for a long time*.)

I do agree with Malagate if he's saying that all art exists in time, and that time has a political context, and that context is worth taking into account while evaluating art. I think that's similar to Cruel's point when he said you can find a political angle to almost any subject. That doesn't mean that's the best angle, the most valuable angle for the work at hand, or the only angle that matters. It's worth nothing that most people in this thread did not say all art is political--they said EVERYTHING is political. I think that's what bothers me about this cultural moment, because that belief is a product of our moment, and where has that belief gotten us? We live in a culture dominated by (in my view unstable) reactionary obsessives, who judge everything by its relevance to Red vs. Blue (and not the fun machinima series). I give the benefit of a doubt to everyone reading this--I'm not referring to you, but if I've pushed back hard against certain statements, there's a reason.

I remain hopeful about the game while acknowledging the challenge they've undertaken. Our interest of games involving combat brought most of us here, and this is an opportunity for something new and useful in that genre.

*disclaimer: all views expressed by Gorehead do not necessarily reflect my current views (I was a kid [sorta]).

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