About Dot Game

chris dale dot game is  a blog about my own opinions regarding videogames as an artform. Its content is motivated by what I consider to be three inseparable kinds of art study:  philosophical analysis of the artform as a whole; critical analyses of individual artworks; and positive guidelines on creating new instances of the artform. I believe each of these studies is dependent upon and critical to the others. This is a concept I call the package deal, and I will refer to it frequently. Any post is liable to be about any one of the three, and will be categorized aesthetics, critcism, or design, accordingly.

I  have a great interest in all narrative art, and as such this site will take a multi-medium approach to analysis. Excessively long diversions will be cordoned off into their own posts and labeled as Optional Sidequests.

I had better explain my own beliefs and biases:

  • In aesthetics, I tend to lean heavily formalist, and particularly not art-historical.
  • In criticism, I am heavily intentionalistic, and care rather little for New Criticism. I discovered a kindred spirit in Noël Carroll’s On Criticism.
  • In design, I lean heavily towards the kind of design philosophy espoused by Tales of Tales, the Chinese Room, and Frictional Games. That last has an excellent dev blog that I highly recommend. That design philosophy might be considered to fall under the banner notgames. There are many times, however, where I’ll discuss design from a standpoint that will be inclusive to both notgame and conventional game sensibilities; these will be tagged “general principles” that the judicious reader may entirely skip my notgames posts. Once in a blue moon, I may even talk about “fun gameplay”.
  • And finally, my entire relationship with art is anchored in narrative. I understand that gamers have diverse motivations for playing games, and I understand that games should be made to satisfy every kind of player, but I am almost exclusively interested in the ways that videogames can be used to tell stories.

If you are looking to determine whether videogames are art, then you have come to the wrong place. This blog assumes that they are. My working definiton of art at the moment is Monroe Beardsley’s incisive aesthetic definition of art, here quoted:

An artwork is something produced with the intention of giving it the capacity to satisfy the aesthetic interest.

As Beardsley observes it is “admirably terse”, and while it does leave the elephant in the room regarding the “aesthetic interest” unaddressed, I think it’s an entirely reasonable concession to make.

I know this going to sound crazy, but I encourage you to read the comments! Lots of interesting things go in there.

If  (or perhaps, when) you have any grievances with the content,  feel free to harass me publicly over Twitter, or in the comments if you’re feeling verbose. Alternatively, email me at dale@chrisdale.name

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