My Final Project will be based off of my second revision which is about whether or not Dear Esther is a video game or not. I chose this because I really enjoy the idea and think that spending more time on the analogy I have put together will result in an even more interesting and compelling argument. This idea leaves a lot of room for interesting sources and I think, embodies a lot of what we’ve talked about throughout this course.
My argument is essentially that Dear Esther is in fact a video game because despite it’s deviations from the prevailing style of video games:
1. It still retains the essential definition of a video game (controlling images on a screen)
2. Historically, new styles of art have been rejected by supporters of the prevailing style. However, over time these new styles were accepted. The style of Dear Esther is no different. Although it is rejected due to it’s unorthodoxy, Dear Esther is still a videogame and we can expect over time that it will be accepted as a video game.
I have used Romanticism and Baroque as an analogy to illustrate my second point however I have not completely discussed my first point. I off-handedly defined what a video game is so I will go into depth as to what a video game exactly is.
Also to reinforce my first point I will use Marcuse and his criticism of society’s preference to specific definitions rather than broad transcendental ones which are more true.
To enhance my second point I will use more works of art and literature that analyzes these works to further strengthen my argument. This is because up until now I have mostly relied on my rudimentary knowledge of history and art so including published analyses of the works I choose will be better. I will also rather than generalizing the concept of romanticism and baroque I will address specific details in each of the artworks that I have used and will use to create a better connection between the styles. I will also include screen captures of the video games mentioned to draw further comparisons between the different styles of each artform. Doing this will create a more complete analysis and overall strengthen my argument.
A possible counterargument would most likely be that Romanticism’s ultimate acceptance despite it’s deviations from Baroque is just an isolated example. That using these two styles is insufficient to assert my argument. However I will then include a sort of miniature and identical analyses of a different pair of styles that also assert my argument. I will discuss the radical change from Romanticism to Realism. I will discuss the differences in art and literature within these styles.
I chose to add this in the counterargument section rather than including it in the main argument is because Romanticism and Baroque are both styles that are analogous to Dear Esther and the prevailing style of contemporary video games respectively. I would rather focus on those two styles so that the flow between each style is much smoother rather than jumping from realism to dear esther which is sort of removed from each other.
The Chinese Room. Dear Esther. Steam, 14 Feb. 2012. PC.
Allistair, Pinsof. "Review: Dear Esther." Rev. of Dear Esther. Web log post. Destructoid. N.p., 12 Feb. 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.
I will use this review to discuss how gamers do not appreciate any sort of unorthodoxy in terms of style. Dear Esther deviates from the prevailing style of video games and thus receives much criticism and a low rating by this reviewer.
MacDonald, Keza. "Dear Esther Review." Rev. of Dear Esther. Web log post. IGN. N.p., 13 Feb. 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.
I will use this review to discuss the beauty and truly masterful work by the creators of Dear Esther to illustrate that this video game should be recognized as one.
Mccaffrey, Ryan. "Halo 4 Review." IGN. Imagine Games Network, 1 Nov. 2012. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
I will use this review to discuss how gamers prefer video games that are grandiose and that are action packed; similar to the baroque style of painting. It received a 9+ rating
Bozon, Mark http://www.ign.com/articles/2009/11/10/call-of-duty-modern-warfare-2-review
I will use this review to discuss how gamers prefer video games that are grandiose and that are action packed; similar to the baroque style of painting. It recieved a 9+ rating
Marcuse, Herbert. "One Dimensional Man, by Herbert Marcuse (contents)." One Dimensional Man, by Herbert Marcuse (contents). N.p., 30 May 2005. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
I will use Marcuse to assert my first point that Dear Esther retains the essential definition of a video game. I will use his critique of our society's use of definitions as specific and jargon based rather than transcendent and universal.
Fall of Phaeton Peter Reubens
I will use this painting to draw connections between baroque painting and the prevailing style of video games today.
McLanathan, Richard. Peter Paul Rubens. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1995.
I will use a biography of the Rubens who painted the Fall of Phaeton to discuss the similarities between modern video games and his baroque paintings. Specifically the mass production of painting and video games using a large team of apprentices and employees.
The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, Caspar Freiderich
I will use this painting to draw connections between romantic painting and Dear Esther.