The endless debate on whether video games are art or just entertainment has finally been settled by the National Endowment for the Arts, which for 2012 has reclassified their definition of “art” to the following:
Projects may include high profile multi-part or single television and radio programs (documentaries and dramatic narratives); media created for theatrical release; performance programs; artistic segments for use within an existing series; multi-part webisodes; installations; and interactive games. Short films, five minutes and under, will be considered in packages of three or more. (via Forbes)
This got me thinking that if video games are now competing in the same world as music/albums then many artists may have some explaining to do. I would argue that most albums have about a tenth of the time, effort, and artistic vision as most video games have.
Think about it, in a video game you not only have music, but story, dialogue, characters, gameplay, and more, to work into your artistic vision. When you’re making your album what are you thinking about? The music? The cover art? The video? That’s a start, but there is so much more to do if you want to make your album a full-er artistic vision.
The video below is from the artist Fever Ray. It’s a perfect example of how full an artistic vision can be. From the music to live shows to interviews, Fever Ray’s artistry feels complete. The music is the focus but there is more to experience in each piece of art that she releases.
Obviously many independent musicians will not have the budget for something as elaborate as Fever Ray’s world, let alone something as bloated as Grand Theft Auto, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t try something similar on your scale.
Yes, it takes effort. Yes, it takes time. Yes, I know that you maybe the only one working on it, but if you are in this for the long haul, then I suggest you start looking at every aspect of your artistry because to keep fans involved in your music, you must keep fans involved in your world.