I went to an art exhibit with Boomer recently. The question posed was “Are video games art?” The point of the exhibit was to convince you that they are.
I dragged Boomer along, so we could get some culture in and because he's obsessed with video games. I am not so. One time a boy asked me if I played video games. I said no and then I was like well... And, he said to me that whenever people say that it means that they have a Wii.
He was right.
Now the exhibit was interactive. You could actually play some of the games. It was really cool. Boomer did not let me read most of the information despite the fact that I was blogging on the material. He already knew most of it. Still, it was amazing.
The very first home gaming system was the Odyssey. Yes, I had to google that. I didn't remember. I can't tell you much about it other then it's old as hell. This gaming system was released in 1972. I was unaware that these things existed outside of arcades until the nineties. The flagship game for this system was the immortal pong.
One of the most interesting games I learned about was 1943: The Battle of Midway. The concept is that your this fighter jet attacking Japanese planes in order to sink one of the Japanese ships. It was one of the most successful shoot em up games. But, the crazy part to me is that this was created by Japanese developers. I find that to be an interesting choice. I don't know how I as Japanese person would have felt about creating a video game where the goal is for Americans to kill the Japanese. It's a little unsettling.
This game was even on the immortal Commodore. A gaming system I'd never heard of until this exhibit.
During the nineties video games really hit their stride. Sega released their console Genesis with their incredibly successful Sonic franchise. Did you know that Sonic only has one eye and that the character Tails was originally supposed to be based off of Madonna? It's crazy.
The craziest thing that happened is how upset Boomer was that Halo 2 was featured instead of the original Halo for X-Box. He was so mad. I even sparked a debate at my work over this very topic. Something was said about the multiplayer online function or something like that. Either way I didn't understand any of the anger. The only time I ever played Halo they had to turn off the friendly fire option, because I kept killing my partner.
The final game I saw that sparked my interest was released a few years ago. It's called Heavy Rain. Boomer had never played it, but he had heard of it. It's the kind of game where you can make moral choices that effect the game play. You can kill people.
There's a serial killer who drowns people during heavy rain. It's intense. There's a cop. There's children. Multiple ways to get to the end of the story and different ways to act out the scenario. Your basically living this story. It would be too much for me, but I digress.
Although, Halo is not art. It has the merit of a Kids Bop CD.