Who should pay?

Computer games could be art — if someone made themselves historiography

For computer games, most people have the same relationship as to chewing gum. Who does not like to chew himself, looks only dirty stains on the strain stick. Who does not like to play himself, knows from the horensagen brutal sliding games, which allegedly exclose massacre under schoolern. In this regard, henry jenkins as a literature professor is unobniotic. He leads the program for comparative media science at the massachusetts institute of technology (with), whose research approach he with the words "from homer to the holodeck" describes. Jenkins now calls computer games the "liveliest art form of 21. Century". Cinema, tv movie and jazz have also been despised until they established themselves as art forms.

At that time, in 1924, the american literature and art critics hilbert seldes published the book "the seven liveby arts". He was kept at best, he paid the broadway musical, comics and the hollywood movie to those seven arts and the hollywoodfilm. Seldes looked reflected in them the everyday life of industrial society and urban life. He called the artists he made art not only to their topics for alive, but also because they worked them with technologies of the gewart. All this also meets for computer games. Jenkins sees the time they came "as new popular art, the asthetics of the 21. Century shapes" take. Goods about the self-reliable use of the metaphor of the in a figure slip in "impress john malkovich" without the computer game possible?

But that’s hardly anyone like that. The lack of perception as an art form is in the reverse ratio to the popularity of the computer game. In the united states, every household has purchased averaging two computer or video games in the year. The revenues move in the order of hollywoods. In germany, the film theater returned to 1.6 billion marks in 1999. For computer games, there were more than 1.4 billion spent.

However, this comparison exchanges in one point. The reception of a film is fundamentally different from that of a computer game. The game offers a very rough freedom of the reception and interpretation. At the same time, however, it requires a very high activity of the recipient because of these interactive properties. Because as a work it will only be existing through the use. And use already means 200 played hours in front of the screen.

Added to this is another problem. Because an art form can not exist without consciousness of their history. This is just missing the computer game. The programs, with which they distribute the time almost 30 years ago, are usually also missing as the computers and video consoles on which they ran back then. Jenkins appreciate carefully that there were still over 100 game systems. The compatibility of the formats between a present pc and an old amigarechner is as small as the between a video cassette and a movie projector. Today’s generation of players and game developers knows early works at best from changes of old colleagues. Maybe therefore, in the second half of the 90s, one-dimensional, action-oriented number structures as well as in the tomb raider series were so widespread. The game principle of fast, skilful movement and fast sliding is the same as spacewar, a game that programmed students in 1961 on a grobber.

The lack of public perception and the lack of computer game history have the same cause: the cursiveness of a work, which is awarded solely through active use existence. Both phenomena also require each other. Whoever takes an art form serious, which is not aware of neither its story nor her asthetics? And who finances collections of an art form that is not the common sense? Henry jenkins warns:

"Hollywood made a rough mistake when the studios gave many big films before their cultural value has been recognized by society. Also recording of the most important broadcasts of american television history simply no longer exist or are inaccessible for scientists."

Not to mention the general public. His proposal: the game industry should cooperate with public institutions, as hollywood does it with the american film institute. So far, neither such cooperations still exist — blob’s shimmer. In germany, the association of entertainment software (vud) has been archived in recent six years 6000 programs. However, both the software from the years before, as well as the archiving of necessary hardware, to run the programs in ten years. So nothing more than a few film rolls without a projector. With the difference that in ten years barely appropriate projectors exist. Current computer hardware is easy for old software.

Jenkins recommends another approach as the archiving of hardware: the emulation of old porgrams on new computers — something similar like transfer of films on dvd. However, the much more expensive because the program code of the games must be rewritten. A similar solution hovers the museum for applied art in frankfurt. Here are in the context of the project digital craft collected computer games for one year. When sponsors have gained, even more aging games as emulations are available on an internet server of the public, unlike the vud collection, which is a pure archive. Vud-business ronald scherer liked to do more for his art form, but: "we do not have the financial resources for an accelerated project development. The integration into a foundation was very conceivable."

Meanwhile, shop private individuals on internet servers old games. You nene the premiums "abandonware" — memory: abandoned programs. The new york times estimates that on about 100 pages 1000 old programs and software to use them on modern computers. It was allowed to be more. Because the number contains well known and sides guided in search engines. From a legal perspective, however, this activity is nothing but software piracy. "There is no difference between abandonware and piracy", says diana piquette, the antipiracy officers at microsoft in the usa. Welcome to watch remains intellectual property like bucher, music or computer code for 75 years owned by the manufacturer. Internationals are the laws differently, but before a period of 50 years nowhere is intellectual property in public possessions over.

Here one should remember the often cited wisdom of information technology, in a ground year passed in the computer world eight. Converted 75 years owned by the intellectual property for computer code a period of 600 years.