Art post is about a non contemporary item I consider to be art regardless for a number of reasons, The Virtual Reality videogame Half Life: Alyx.
The work is an experience that has pushed boundaries within the technical industry and as a creative work is unique in its presentation at the time. The associated article that praises it is from NPR written by Vincent Acovino, titled “‘Half Life: Alyx’ And The Promise of Virtual Reality” as linked here:
The above article makes points that this work is innovative, and that the experience of being immersed in the environment and being able to interact is vital to its success as more than an average videogame
This can be judged by Kant’s terms of interest and disinterest, in the way that It doesn’t matter whether or not you are a fan of the property or avid consumer of the medium, this experience is unique and can be appreciated in a standalone fashion either as an experience or even just standing around in one of its detailed rooms as if an exhibit in itself. Kant’s work on Judging the beautiful tells that there are very little descriptors for the actual beauty, as said in the 10/12/21 lecture on campus, and that it essentially clicks something in the brain and arouses feelings that are to be experienced on the viewer. This is absolutely demonstrated in the game experience when the sounds, lights, and interactive “touch” of the simulation work together to fully immerse the player for a couple of moments, and block out all external thoughts to be in the moment in the broken “city 17” that it presents in its fiction. In those moments the feelings and thoughts are central to what is going on, and analysis comes only afterwards which helps to judge that it is to be considered beautiful or at the very least art. Page: 281 in the textbook.
The counterargument to this is appropriately shallow, coming from the general opinion that videogames, much like movies and TV, cannot be art because they are not contemporary or forming to the idea of art traditionally, that all it comes out to be is lights and sounds with no deeper meaning. The argument is that because it is manufactured for alternate purposes to being “art” that it cannot be art, and holds no value in any capacity surrounding art.
I argue that These experiences are entirely unique and ought to be considered art or at the most beautiful to the extent of needing to be experienced for oneself. I have played HL:A and know that seeing it on a monitor or screen does not do the experience justice, much like viewing a painting at home doesn’t hold the same energy or experience as being in a gallery. These have value, and I believe should be considered valued.