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The Art of Videogames (New Directions in Aesthetics) Paperback – 18 Sep 2009

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (18 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405187883
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405187886
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 920,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


“As a new entertainment medium, videogaming has the power to engage intense, even obsessive attention. But are the other–worldly, imaginative experiences videogames provide authentic experiences of art? In this astute and compelling book, Grant Tavinor shows how videogaming marks a genuine advance in the history of artistic expression. No one interested in the future of aesthetics can afford to ignore The Art of Videogames.”
Denis Dutton, author of The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution

"Timely, sharp and thoroughly engaging. Equally informed by philosophy and gameplay, Tavinor makes a compelling case that game–designers would profit from engaging with philosophical aesthetics and that philosophers who want to contribute to 21st century aesthetics would do well to buy a PS3."
Ian Ground, Senior Lecturer, University of Sunderland

From the Back Cover

Videogames aren’t just for children anymore. In fact, their fictional worlds now inspire us to make judgments about perceptual beauty, involve us in interpretation, and arouse our emotions. Reflecting the increasing technical and moral sophistication of the medium, The Art of Videogames presents a unique philosophical approach to the art of videogaming. The author, a philosopher as well as an avid gamer, explores how philosophical theories developed to address traditional art works – such as novels and film – can also be applied to videogames. Chapters delve into relationships between games and earlier artistic and entertainment media, employ the theory of fiction to explore how videogames allow for interactive fiction, look at the role of game narrative, and address the debate about the moral status of violent events depicted in videogame worlds. The text concludes by arguing that videogames do indeed qualify as a new and exciting form of representational art.

By situating videogames in the framework of analytic philosophy of the arts, The Art of Videogames offers unique philosophical insights while finally bridging the worlds of fantasy and philosophy.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I should probably rationalise the above by adding 'the best book on the subject - that I've been able to find', but it didn't seem as catchy. The point is, literature on the art and philosophy of gaming is incredibly sparse, so I was cautiously hopeful when I stumbled across this book that it would provide the information I needed for my project. (I'm writing an essay on the subject for college.)
It did, and more. Rather annoyingly, I found it quite late into the writing stage of my essay, and perhaps this actually demonstrates how good it is - I rewrote the entire 5000+ word essay to include the information in this book, because it was valuable enough to make days of reworking worth it.
Tavinor's personal experience with and interest in gaming is evident throughout, which makes it not only informative but enjoyable to read; it's possibly the first non-fiction book I haven't been able to put down. It's not a difficult read as such, but it gives more information on very detailed aspects of the subject than I was expecting or even hoping for - for me, it was invaluable.

Well-written, well-researched, well-informed, this book has it all. If you're writing on the subject yourself, or even if you just have a passing interest, you should buy this book. You won't regret it.
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By Sky on 13 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written by a wannabe know it all who makes it clear the only video games he has played is Oblivion and GTA 4 as he uses them as a pointless example on nearly every page. Over-analysis's everything he thinks he knows about video games, Also this book has nothing to do with art in video games just a very pointless boring book. If you want a book about video game art or even video games look somewhere else.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Convincing arguments. 4 Aug. 2010
By Harviainen Jussi T - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Coming from a background of art philosophy and game studies, Tavinor makes quite a convincing argument for the potential of videogames to be art. Discussing issues of narrative, morality, transgression and so on, he builds up a structure that indeed does fit in with cluster theories of art. Yet he also includes lots of critique - some of which he refutes, some he admits as indeed valid - and thus shows a definite professionalism in his argumentation.

I was a bit disappointed with the lack of certain key references, including material from the philosophy of games (a field right between the two he extensively uses, which he strangely skips even when it would support his arguments a lot). And the author also seems quite ignorant of how some modern larps and pervasive games take what he considers artistically "unique" and "special" in videogames way further than his digital example games do, particularly in narrative-creation. Yet compared to many nearly canonized books of game studies, his ignorance is quite minimal, and the approach is much more open-minded and inclusive (if critically so) than most.

Of particular value to games research scholars are the parts on the potential impact of various types of fictionality to game-related moral issues, Tavinor's critique of immersion, and his strong defense of re-taking the word "interactive" to its proper use. Also, quite an eye-opener to people holding a highly elitist notion of what the word "art" may and should mean.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars muy bueno 3 Feb. 2013
By Ruth García Martín - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Todo a sido perfecto. Ha llegado antes de lo previsto y en perfectas condiciones. No tengo ninguna queja, muy al contrario.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good and iffy 4 April 2011
By john matos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the book was good over all and full of grate info, but the author often times rambled on about his own story's in gaming (which i have often times done my self). i recommend the book to any one who wants a good read with a bunch of rabbit trails and rely enjoys the deep side of gaming.
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