Ghostly landscapes in Shadow of the Colossus, like coming out of a painting. Dramatic stories in Life is Strange, as in the literature. Touching music on Journey, like from a Hollywood soundtrack.
The current computer games are developed under high aesthetic demands, integrate different artistic disciplines and remember the vision of the composer richard Wagner of the 19th century. Nuances and concepts that Wagner used, popularizing the concept of total art work, since he wanted the scenography , music, acting, dance, that is, all the essential elements in a staging, merged with each other. Until a few years ago, no video game reached the ideal of a total work of art, but some could be close to achieving it.
“Life is Strange”, brilliantly describes the drama of becoming an adult. In “Horizon 0 Dawn” the fictional landscape works like a gigantic backdrop that can be explored by players, a world populated by mysterious robotic creatures, and music it’s helping and going with you in this path all along the experience. In many video games the soundtrack plays a crucial role, as in Journey. This minimalist game wants to represent the passage of time, wich soundtrack works perfectly.
In the video game “A way out” the participants guide the characters in their escape from prison. At times the experience reminds of a couple dance. The way out creator, the Lebanese Swedish director Joseph Fares says “for developing games is the ultimate expression of creativity, before writing scripts for successful Swedish films. In video games, I love its operation, it offers a great opportunity to be creative and do something unpublished. The films are also interesting but this is different, I think the games will have a greater impact than the one that the cinema had so far”. Andreas Lange is convinced of the cultural value of video games. He is the director of the video games museum in Berlin and believes that thanks to the interaction new possibilities open up. “Unlike other narrative media, computer games allow the player, thanks to the interaction, the possibility of adopting different perspectives. So he can have many experiences and define the plot himself”.
However, interaction can also be an obstacle: as each player can influence the plot, the story can be diluted. At the same time putting too many imitations would ruin the interaction in the game. Telling a complex story is not easy, you can not build the story as for a movie, where you can control everything in the game. You have to know when to get to the scene and if it fits, if it works for the experience of the game. Professor Udo Bermbach is an expert at Wagner. He has nothing to do with video games, according to this expert there is a part of Wagner’s ideal that exists in video games, he says: “I think there are coincidences if we take into account the sound aesthetics and the possibility of variation. All of these are relevant elements also in Wagner’s concept of total art work I can imagine that if Wagner had contact with this world he would have found it fascinating”.
So video games have the potential to integrate different artistic forms, however, not all game creators aspire to produce a work of art. We must distinguish, as in all forms of expression, those works whose aspiration lies in the artistic, and other art that I call “functional art”, such as music in a disco, in an elevator, such as the first pong, or Like the design of our milk bottle in the supermarket.