How to evaluate Video Games
There is a debate going on in the world of fine arts and game cultures: video games should or should not be considered an art form?
Many, perhaps too many, still have doubts about the fact that video games are an art form. Yet the arguments in favor are many and significant.
The well-known game designer Hideo Kojima says that video games are a type of service and not a true art form.
However in 2006 the French Minister of Culture, has defined video games as art and cultural heritage, providing to game developers state funding, pinned the . Medal of order of arts and letters to three prominent game designers, Michel Ancel, Frédérick Raynal and Shigeru Miyamoto.
Since 2011 the National Endowment of the Arts, in its guidelines, includes video games as recognized art form.
In 2012 the Smithsonian American Art Museum presented an exhibit entitled The Art of the Video Game.
From 2012 The Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) exhibits some historical video games, presenting them in their original format explicitly classifying them as art.
On Starico the interactive art, more commonly known as gaming experience, is considered as a true art form and video games are treated as art. The reasons that led to this choice are better detailed in the article “Video games: the eighth art“.
Just for music and movies, on Starico games are evaluated according to parameters grouped in classes:
Screenplay, Technical, Gameplay, Music & Sound.
The plot, character of the characters and relationships between them, can donate deep breath to the entire title, making it an intense and satisfactory experience. Sometimes can happen, especially when talking about RPG, that game script proves to be much more detailed and complex of a movie script.
The decision to use this class can penalize the Stariscore of some games that are usually considered masterpieces. This is not a side effect, but an intended consequence; so as to not treat sport games.
Sport is entertainment, not art. The fact that on the same medium (for example, TV), are projected both films and sporting events, doesn’t make of sporting events a form of art. However, it’s legitimate to treat an artistic film that has sport as its subject.
Answers the question: how was made the game? What has been decided to show and how has been shown? This covers all technical aspects inherent the realization, camera views, movies, scripted events, models of objects and characters. Is analyzed the visual impact, light effects, backgrounds, drawings and animations.
Contrary to what you might think, this class doesn’t concern the intrinsic graphic quality, but the effectiveness with which the message or emotions are transmitted through what is shown on the screen.
This considers the manner in which players interact with a game. Not only the effectiveness of the interface and simplicity of controls, but also interactions between characters and environment, as well as variety of actions, collectables and missions. These parameters can make a game enjoyable and engaging, or frustrating and boring, demarcating the difference between a mediocre game and a masterpiece.
Balance between playing time and variety is one of the most important factors. A very long game with a lot of quests, is not necessarily a good game, instead a two hours long game can be a masterpiece. As well as a 90 minute movie can be significantly better than a 300 minutes movie.
Similarly, because an action game follows different guidelines from a role playing game, they cannot be directly compared. As well as a film comedy has a conceptual structure different from a drama.
Covers everything that you hear during the game, from the soundtrack to sound effects and their fittings. A well done nice soundtrack and well designed sound effects can elevate a gaming experience to the nth degree, reaching peaks of rare beauty and epic.
DLC are an anomaly that will be explored through some in-depth articles. The general line of Starico is to not take into consideration DLC that are useless or too short. A substantial DLC, which offers an obvious extension of the original game experience, will instead be analyzed and evaluated.
In case a game came out incomplete due to the presence of additional DLC, it would be treated as a film devoid of its final: an insult to users. However, it’s legit to split a game in two or more episodic windows with complete sense.