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Appreciation for art/music in games


WishINever

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I was wrestling with some of these questions in my mind today as I began using this forum. 

Film is an art form. But there are millions of people who do nothing with their lives but binge watch Netflix after they've put in their 8 hours - or no hours! Video games are an art form. But there are millions of people who do nothing but binge game after they've put in their 8 hours - or no hours! 

To what extent is it okay to appreciate games as a medium that ties in multiple art forms? Is it okay to admire video game art, storytelling, and music? To what extent is it okay to participate in fandom? Does participating in fandom as a non-gamer make you a poser? As I write this, I have a song from the Deltarune soundtrack stuck in my head. Toby Fox is an awesome composer, there is no doubt about that. But I've seen most of the fanbase as cringelords and I definitely don't want to be like them. Perhaps anything can become a vice, and we are all prone to some form of addiction or another. Therefore, maybe it is up to the individual to decide for themselves what is appropriate? I do believe that it is okay to enjoy games socially or as a casual pastime - but clearly this isn't good for some people! To a degree I think it comes down to having other things going on in your life to occupy your time: family/relationship, career, other hobbies, etc. My work and my social obligations take precedence over gaming, so I don't game. If you give serious consideration to what is more important, gaming will rarely win out. 

Even though I'm a boring old man who doesn't game much anymore, I still have a soft spot for certain things in gaming. I will continue to listen to my favorite OSTs and stuff like that. Some of my favorite game lore will always be with me and I don't see that as a bad thing. Remember when Assassins Creed was good? I even have a few Touhou fumos, though I mostly keep my gaming merch ironically and laugh about it with friends. I bought them kinda as a joke and as something I might be able to flip some day. That's another question - is it healthy to revel in such things "ironically"? I really don't care at this point if I never play again, but I will always be curious about the stories of certain games old and new. Maybe I'll watch someone else play them.... but that is also a vice! It amazes me that there are people who will watch others play and live, even donating to do so, while sitting on their asses doing nothing with themselves. I never got much into the whole streaming thing but now that I don't play myself, I am seeing some value in it from an informational perspective. 

Am I a hypocrite? Is there already a thread for this? 

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My ex-game had kind of religious storylines. The music was very simple, as were the graphics. Watching them as I clicked and arrow-keyed around was satisfying, and I even found a wake-up alarm sound on my phone that was very much like one of the first music tracks encountered in it. But the rivers in it don't compare to being at the beach and the trees don't compare to being in bushland. 

I definitely try to find gaming habits that translated to the physical world funny, in company. Alone, when a large enough amount of things depend on my individual effort, it is a constant battle not giving in to my brain's interest in gaming and entertainment when bored. 

You didn't make an impression on me as a hypocrite. 😮 I'd like to recommend having guidelines on what to do or not do, and making improvement doing beneficial things and doing away with a majority of destructive things. You know, values/morals, I guess - but with specific understanding of them when possible.

Over!

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What matters is intent and prioritization. Are you playing, or observing, games because you find them enjoyable, or because you have to? Are you appreciating the music, story, narrative, gameplay approaches to become a more cultured individual, or because you feel you'll get left behind in the discussion?

It's fine to appreciate, discuss, analyze, and criticize games as art; so long as you are also getting to the truly important things first. It's like you said in regards to priorities; entertainment in general is last on the list. Are you getting to the more important things first? Are you blowing off other more important and pressing tasks? Are you using game discussions to escape and bottle up hardships? Etcetera. You can analyze, appreciate and criticize games, and still have it be a problem; they're not mutually exclusive necessarily. There's a line between having a hobby and having a vice; most of us in this forum come here because it became the latter and took over more important aspects of our lives. Wheatbiscuit has the right idea in the post above; do away with it if it's a destructive habit, rather than a beneficial one.

The only time I can see analyzing and criticizing games as truly important would be if it is your job, your main source of income; which is a real and legitimate career path. Otherwise it's just like any other form of entertainment; it should be a hobby that you engage with on your free time, or something to stay away from if you can't enforce a hard stop on it. It very much comes down to us individually to determine whether it's a healthy hobby or an overindulgence.

Personally, I have stayed away from community boards and discussions (fandoms) for 25 days now. Engaging in discourse about games story and narratives can be pretty fulfilling, discussion is not a bad thing and in fact it can also give you other perceptions and opinions; even if you disagree with them, it helps reaffirm your stance too. But I found myself overindulging in it, making it one of the primary time wasters. Besides, particularly gaming fandoms through online message boards rarely tend to form good arguments; I can count on one hand how many times I came out of Discord or Reddit discussions actually gaining a new perspective or a level-headed discussion. A lot of commenters there are simply in it to waste time, to just post something so they leave their mark, some of them to get a rise out of others.

Initially I started journaling to spend less time on those fandom boards. But so far, I haven't really felt like going back to them is really that productive; so I pretty much am on the path to quit online discussion boards when it comes to fandoms I like. I am focusing instead on writing and journaling my own analysis and opinion privately; I use it for my reference, sometimes to share online in my own journal here for self reflection (in the case of tv and books) or discussing with friends and family IRL. I find those to be much more fruitful.

Edited by D_Cozy
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/25/2023 at 9:24 AM, D_Cozy said:

I am focusing instead on writing and journaling my own analysis and opinion privately; I use it for my reference, sometimes to share online in my own journal here for self reflection (in the case of tv and books) or discussing with friends and family IRL.

I like this idea. I do some analysis on books I read but I never really thought to use it for replacing unhelpful forums like that. I’ve found over time that Reddit has less and less useful information everyday. As part of my 90 days, I’m not tracking it as a habit, but I stopped going there. It rarely helped me and was almost always a time waster.

I used to have a blog. Maybe I should start it up again and write there, as it would give me a place to synthesize the analysis. Great suggestion!

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