Abstract- Computer Games: Art in the 21st Century

The nature of art is rarely theorized according to its media, although people commonly define painting and sculptures as art, and "new media" references an elusive, ever-changing "media" as critical to defining its nature as art. Art critics since the 1980s have noted that the database has become the new artform. Philosopher James Carse's (1986) concept of finite and infinite games is useful in looking at cyber-artists' games built from databases. Historically, artists have been fascinated with games. For Duchamp, chess was the perfect art form. Today, Mel Chin, Gabriel Orozco, Sophie Calle, and Net artists teams such as ActionTank, aux2mondes, and Playskins create games intended for players to emotionally experience issues, such as biotechnology. Artists are intrigued with Web-based games as an artform partly because players experience a transformation in playing the game, and thus the power of art is highly effective in such work. Making a computer game is an interdisciplinary enterprise, often best achieved through collaboration. Computer games, if they are to be played, need to take into account how players learn, thus educational theories are relevant. In an exploration of computer games as art, I suggest implications for educating the artist in the 21st century