David Cage is the main man behind the PS3 hit, Heavy Rain. While Cage believes his creation has opened the door for innovation in gaming, he doesn’t really care whether or not his games are considered “art.”
One of Heavy Rain‘s biggest selling points was its emphasis on storytelling. While we’ve seen games and narrative become more intertwined, a good story is still hard to come by, and it’s no surprise that gamers and critics alike were quick to label Heavy Rain as art – even with the plot holes.
Cage however, doesn’t consider Heavy Rain to be art; and that’s not him bashing his own game, he just wants to make it clear that he doesn’t care. He doesn’t see himself as an auteur, just one man who’s part of a creative team.
“Do I consider myself doing art? Honestly, certainly not. I don’t think I’m doing art. I’m just doing it by passion, and I’m doing what I believe in. That’s really what we do. And if something of what we create today, people still talk about it 50 years from now, then we’ll say, ‘Okay, it was art.’ But that’s really not something I have in mind every morning. Honestly, I don’t care.”
The “games as art” debate has become increasingly fueled over the past few years. It’s hard to deny gaming’s relevance in the world, with the Smithsonian hosting an Art of Videogames Exhibit, and the US Supreme Court saying they are protected under free speech. Titles like Journey and Datura continue to push the limits of how we interpret and interact with games. That’s why I look forward to games like Spec Ops: The Line, on the surface it looks like just another military shooter, looking deeper one can see the developers are trying to do something different.
In the end, it seems only fitting to echo Cage’s words when describing games as art: “honestly, I don’t care.” If I enjoy Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon for its premise and ridiculous dialogue, then who cares whether or not it’s art or “advancing the medium.” It’s something I enjoy, and that’s all that should matter.
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