Lumines: Art?

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Jun 5, 2007

Filed under: Game Reviews 9 comments

I played Lumines on a friend’s PSP before and found the game to be elegant and deeply satisfying. Looking back to the debate I on videogames as art, Lumines contains none of the elements I listed. It has no story, no characters, no places to explore, no dialog, no acting. Like Tetris, it is a simple game of moving things around to make things happen. Yet I would still classify it as art. Not just because of the music, but the experience itself appeals in some pure way that makes me point and say, “This is art.” No, that’s no true, I don’t point. I can’t. Fingers busy.


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9 thoughts on “Lumines: Art?

  1. Alexis says:

    What is not art? Bad art is still art.

    Is it really a useful term? Given people tend to call stuff they don’t like not-art, and anything they like enough art, would we be better off just expressing our degree of attraction/repulsion with associated adjectives?

  2. Shamus says:

    “Is it really a useful term?”

    Not to me. The heart of the debate (which I linked) was over a judge’s ruling wherin he concluded the ALL videogames were, by their very nature, devoid of art and therefore didn’t get any of the protections of free speech.

    I only care about art, and its definition, insmuch as people would seek to deprive me of it.

  3. Mordaedil says:

    Sometimes I wonder if critics class art as “If you show this to a girl and then start to pleasure her without asking and she lets you, it’s art.”

  4. wildweasel says:

    It’s not so much the individual elements (graphics, sound, story) as it is how it all mixes together. In the case of Lumines (and to a greater extent, Rez), the music all syncs up to the action on screen. If you weren’t the one playing the game, just listening from the sidelines, you almost wouldn’t be able to tell that there was a game being played judging from the sounds.

  5. Jack says:

    Do you really feel there is a GAME happening here, too?

    I played it for a few minutes before switching it off, feeling slightly insulted by this poorly formed shadow of Tetris.

  6. Roy says:

    Hey, don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel Jack. ;)

  7. Dan says:

    Jack, I’m amazed at your confidence. To be able to dismiss a game as a ‘poorly formed shadow of Tetris’ after only playing for ‘a few minutes’.

    How many people turned off Tetris after ‘a few minutes’ feeling slightly insulted? I did for one. Only after playing for a few hours does the gameplay really sink in. This is true for almost every game I’ve played in this genre.

  8. DocTwisted says:

    Yeah, the “Is this art” debate gets rather subjective fast. Even more so when you start trying to delineate things like “High Art” and “Low Art.”

    I did love this game, when I got to try it on a friend’s PSP. But then again, I’m a puzzle game junkie so I’m horrendously biased. I still play Yoshi’s Cookie every so often.

    I actually stand directly opposite the judge Shamus mentioned… all video games, by their nature of being designed to entertain, are a form of art. Now some of it is art I wouldn’t want to spend money on (like any game with a professional sports star on the cover), but then again I know the people that do spend their money on those games usually have little to no interest in the ones I do pick up (Like any game with Sid Meier’s name on the cover).

    Lumines falls squarely into the category of asbstract art, in my mind. So did Tetris, Bust-A-Move, Chuzzle, and Bejeweled. There’s no story or characters really, but the art is in the choice of colors, the geometric patterns, and the music/sound effects.

  9. Tetris says:

    I personally believe lumines is art, why not?

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