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Games aren't art, says Kojima

MGS creator gets philosophical.

MGS creator Hideo Kojima has joined in with the "But are games art?" debate, arguing that, well, no they're not.

In an interview with OPSM2 US, Kojima said: "Art is the stuff you find in the museum, whether it be a painting or a statue. What I'm doing, what videogame creators are doing, is running the museum - how do we light up things, where do we place things, how do we sell tickets?

"For better or worse, what I do, Hideo Kojima, myself, is run the museum and also create the art that's displayed in the museum."

Kojima was responding to a question about recent comments made by US film critic Roger Ebert, who said: "To my knowledge, no one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great dramatists, poets, filmmakers, novelists and composers."

Perhaps surprisingly, Kojima said he agreed with Ebert, stating: "I don't think they're art either, videogames."

Kojima went on to say that "Art is something that radiates the artist," arguing that "If 100 people walk by and a single person is captivated by whatever that piece radiates, it's art.

"But videogames aren't trying to capture one person. A videogame should make sure that all 100 people that play that game should enjoy the service provided by that videogame. It's something of a service. It's not art. But I guess the way of providing service with that videogame is an artistic style, a form of art."

Kojima went on to discuss the nature of interactivity, using the example of concept cars. "You don't have to be able to drive a car, but if it's called a car and it has artistic elements in the visuals, then it's art.

"But an actual car, like a videogame, is interactive, so it's something used by people, so it's like a car where you have to drive it. There are 100 people driving a car; they have 100 ways of driving it and using it. It could be families driving the car. It could be a couple driving a car. The owner of the car could be driving along the coastline or they could go up into the mountains, so this car has to be able to be driven by all 100 of these people, so in that sense, it's totally not art."

So there you have it: games aren't art, and neither are cars. Cheers for clearing that up.

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