What’s Art?

Andrew Jankowski finds out the question”what is art” to become”utterly inane and faux-profound.” He should possess a working response for this, though, because he feels certain that”games are games rather than art” There are apparently a number of criteria based on which he gets this evaluation, and–though he resists saying a governing theory of what makes something art–I can subtract from his essay a few things about his ideas on the subject. 
To begin with, I guess Jankowski has a general conviction that if something is one thing, it cannot be the following: that the nature of video games as games defines their final and formal origin, thereby excluding the possibility that they may serve the entirely distinct purpose of being art. As a general rule, this is not sound in each case: for example, many types of art evolve out of ritual, and this is a different thing than art. The purpose of religious ritual is to glorify God; the intent of art is–well, more on that later. However something can serve both purposes. 
Aristotle’s accounts of how Greek tragedy came into being is historically suspect in its particulars, but surely some kinds of early Greek verse –dithyrambic tune, such as –were originally performed in worship of gods, particularly Dionysus. Often ritual music is spontaneous, improvisational, rather than fixed in its class or construction as Jankowski thinks good art ought to be. However, I doubt Jankowski could say of these songs,”hymns are all hymns, not art”–nor even of religious icons,”helps to prayer are all aids to prayer, not art.” 
My debate about video games is the most effective of these are games and art: they do equally. Jankowski doesn’t believe that this is possible because”art must show us with a finished product–not even an open-ended encounter.” It seems that something like fixity or conclusion is in his opinion what Aristotle could have predicted a”essential property” of art–a characteristic of it which is not only distinctive, but core to what it is. So Jankowski’s”rule: the more latitude a function of art gives its personalities, the room its audience has to roam in productive contemplation.” 
I feel these are fascinating observations, but they’re not fatal to my argument. It is true that video games demand more audience involvement compared to most other types of art. (There are of course plays, like Ayn Rand’s Night of January 16th, in which the audience is involved in determining what happens at the end. But in the main I consider Jankowski’s point) In addition, it is a fact that the results of players’ involvement are a part of the gaming experience–that I argued in my essay that working within a frame of principles makes gaming distinctive and emotionally strong for its connoisseurs. 
What is true is that interactive immersion in the story leaves the gamer with”nothing to contemplate at all.” This could be the case if the latitude given players were infinite (whatever that could mean). However, it’s not: players don’t pick all about the story; however they choose how to reply to the principles and plot points that are fixed.  
To play a game is to operate within a narrative frame and among a couple of personalities. Players can often help determine the length of this narrative, but not without limits, as well as the figures themselves aren’t empty”virtual avatars” into which one merely inserts oneself like a arm into a sleeve. Oftentimes, the protagonists and villains of matches –Final Fantasy VII’s Cloud, for example–are complex, closely drawn individuals whose motives and experiences leave a lot of”space for contemplation.”  
What I’ve learned about my own Viewpoint from considering Jankowski’s debate is that I don’t believe”fixity” or”immutability” is actually an essential property of art. ​ Is jazz art? How about improvisational humor? Were the Homeric poems art before the Peisistratid recension, when their structure might have been different each time depending on the exigencies of the occasion? Certainly yes, I would assert, however all of these depend in large degree on audience participation and input: as a standard for qualification as art, fixity just does not work.
Likely it is a characteristic that all art has in a certain degree, though. Games also have it also: the art of the developer is composed in imagining, understanding , and setting in place the structural frame of characters and narrative within which players operate. I believe that the”playability” that permits, though identifying, doesn’t on its head disqualify something from being art. Jankowski disagrees because he thinks fixity is essential. So our disagreement does turn on that”faux-profound” question, what is art? 
I give an answer in my essay; Jankowski cites it. Art”use[s] colour, light, sound and language to convey what it is like to live a human life.” I admit I find Jankowski’s dismissal of the thought –and the question it is meant to answer–baffling. It is not, as he indicates, a style of discourse that only originated in the 20th century because the arrival of conceptual art.  
The question”what is art” has been around in some form or another since the dawn of criticism as we all know it, and my response is cribbed in large part from early sources–notably Plato, Symposium 205b-c, Republic X, and Aristotle, Poetics 1447a. Art is a mimēsis–a representation, by fake, of human experiences which can’t be otherwise articulated or expressed.  
Something quite similar to this very idea is in reality behind Viktor Shklovsky’s fine observation that”art exists so you may recover the sensation of existence,” which Jankowski cites approvingly. But I must say I still find Aristotle’s observations on the subject subtler and much more complete.  
Like most excellent theoretical remedies, the early mimetic strategy is flexible and broad enough to differentiate new types while certain enough to exclude what is extraneous: movie games do communicate, through representation, elements of the human experience such as pleasure, heroism, and love. Chess and boxing do not do this. They do not even attempt, aesthetically beautiful though they may be: that is the reason why video games are art and they aren’t.  
Put bluntly, what I believe is that many young men are full of desire to go out and do things, and that video games and electronic technologies more generally have recently let them act on this need. However nothing orders that when they do they will be a force for good.As Aristotle indicates, different types of art use different thoughtful websites –rhythm, colour, tone, and language–to accomplish the goal of mimēsis. But what which does accomplish that goal is, in my view, art. I believe video games qualify for the reasons I originally stated, also Jankowski hasn’t given me reason to alter my thoughts. 
It remains to address Jankowski’s effort at psychoanalyzing me:”Klavan clearly includes a goal, which shows he has worked backward from his ideal conclusion, as opposed to forward from a sound debate.” As a matter of personal history this is just not the case, unless Jankowski thinks I’d hidden motives which weren’t apparent to me at the time of composing. I put out to consider if video games are art; to be able to achieve this that I called this early standard indicated above. I came up with an answer in the affirmative, then I believed a number of the moral and societal implications of this response. 
Jankowski thinks I find these moral and societal consequences fully salutary, and that’s why I want video games to become art. Again, on these two points he should know more about my subconscious thoughts than I do. I referenced in my original essay to a surge of energy which has recently established itself in important ways in the political landscape: the GameStop inventory fiasco, by way of instance, and also the 2016 election. “The gaming mindset is inspiring consequential activity and undertaking in real life,” I composed.  
However, I also went out of my way to indicate that actions and endeavors of outcome can have all sorts of moral character. Put bluntly, what I believe is that many young men are full of desire to go out and do things, and that video games and electronic technologies more generally have recently let them act on this need. But nothing orders when they do they’ll be a force for good: in the event of GameStop, they appear essentially to have been a force for chaos.  
That’s precisely why I assert that conservatives should pay attention to video games: not because politics must determine what is art, but because the power released and steered by art has a profound impact on politics, for good or ill. It is not an issue of being glad or mad or indifferent this is the case: it is a matter of recognizing it, and acting accordingly. 
The Right is currently building a brand new coalition, or ought to be. That coalition will include a fair few Reddit bros who have not ever voted red earlier, but who have been fed up with the desiccated ruling class below which they have lived their whole lives. 
We’re likely to have to know how to talk to those guys–what makes them tick, what motivates them, what fascinates them. For a lot of these, the solution to this is: movie games. I’ve tried in my essay to answer the reason why this is so; although I remain unpersuaded from Jankowski I was incorrect, I appreciate his own provocative interrogation of my debate and the opportunity to engage with him .