I just wanted to commend L. Rhodes on his immensely insightful article “Jumping The Divide.” I am an artist based in Los Angeles and a sizable portion of my artistic production has been an attempt to explore this specific complexity regarding how to speak about games. There are three fantastic volumes called “First Person,” “Second Person,” and “Third Person” which try to make some headway on these issues, particularly by pointing out that perhaps the foremost difficulty in discussing video games is the rather large spectrum involved. The difference between a chess-like game such as StarCraft 2 or AI Wars, is radically different from the near-cinematic conventions of a game like Heavy Rain, the social aspect of Sims, and yet again different than the First Person Shooters as-evolution-of-hide-and-seek style games mentioned in the article. These differences seem to me to be even further apart than simple distinctions between, say, romanticism and naturalism in art.
That said, certain aspects of avant guard art might have some interesting links to these challenges. After all, Duchamp once said that, “All chess players are artists, but not all artists are chess players.” Duchamp’s effective retirement from art (though not as complete as the myth states) to play chess has been a constant source of confusion, challenge and interest from the art world. These new arguments about the critical parameters of video games seem to echo those challenges of the classical art forms primacy that Duchamp’s exit caused almost 100 years ago.
Thanks for you time,