The Art Videogames (New Directions in Aesthetics) Hardcover – 18 Sep 2009
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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 genre, 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.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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.
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