Ueda “flattered” Shadow of the Colossus is considered art by many

Friday, 24th September 2010 19:43 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Fumito Ueda has told the US PS Blog that he’s “flattered” Shadow of the Colossus is considered a fine example for the games as art debate.

According to Ueda, he is unsure which part of the game folks consider “art”, and feels there are games out there that are “much more artistic” than Shadow of the Colossus.

“I’m happy about it, I’m flattered. But I wonder what part are they are referring to when they make that comment, that it’s art,” he said.

“What part are they looking at? Because I think it’s possible to make it even more artistic. But because it’s a video game, those possibilities have been subdued somewhat — it’s a game. So I’d be interested to know what part, exactly, they mean when they refer to it as art.

“There are games out there that are much more artistic than Shadow of the Colossus. And personally I also believe that it would be possible to make it even more “arty,” so to speak.

“I guess it depends on how you define art, of course. But in a Japanese conception of the term “art,” it’s thought that it might be something that’s difficult to understand, or complex. Or something unique or uncommon.

“So given that definition of art, maybe it’s a little detrimental to actually name any titles.”

Humility. Modesty. Those are very becoming traits in a person, ya know.

ICO and Shadow of the Colossus collection are to be made available on PS3 in HD glory during spring 2011.

Team Ico’s current project, The Last Guardian, is slated for sometime around the holidays in 2011.



  1. itsucks

    Not by me, sure isn’t.

    Games like Child of Eden & Rez maybe, but not that.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. NoxNoctisUmbra

    For me Art is something that looks like you can use it but you cant.. so no game for me is art.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Psychotech

    @1 it would be suprising if it was you would then pass as a healthy normal person and then the whole universe would implode.Why do you instist on this shit really?you have prove your point and noone really cares.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. osric90

    Sony haters, here they come with their childish shit. ICO, SOTC, MGS series, UNCHARTED, SILENT HILL 1, 2, 3 and even 4: THE ROOM. Devil May Cry 1, 2, 3, Fatal Frame 1, 2 and 3 and even GoW. FINE ART.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. AHA-Lambda

    DMC 2 is fine art now? i missed that memo O__o

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Erthazus

    @4 Devil May Cry 2 X_X

    #6 4 years ago
  7. DSB

    Whether games are art or not means fuck all to me. I don’t subscribe to the whole N’gai Croal pseudo-intellectual school of ruining everything that’s ever been fun about videogames.

    It’s pretty funny to see gamers ruin their own arguments time and time again, by picking games that have absolutely nothing to do with art what so ever.

    The fact that a game has good art direction doesn’t make it art. Art doesn’t become art just because it’s aesthetically pleasing. Just as a journalistic piece doesn’t become art just because it makes you think.

    It’s a wee bit more intelligent than “I like this, thus it hath becometh art”.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. spiderLAW

    All games that show the developers put all their efforts into making a game have the most immersive and beautiful environment possible is in fact art.

    If games like i mentioned above are not art then Comics, Movies, Music, Paintings, Sketches, etc. should not be considered art either.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. AHA-Lambda

    personally i am of the opinion that if you consider only paintings, illustrations, traditional art etc to be art then no games arent

    BUT if you consider books, muisc, movies or any other form of artisitic expression to be art then of course games are art.

    Its all a point of perspective and quite frankly this argument will never die =/

    #9 4 years ago
  10. spiderLAW

    Well said.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. onlineatron

    Are blogs art?

    #11 4 years ago
  12. DSB

    @8 The difference being that a game is an operated machination. It’s nothing without your input, and as such your input defines the game. Like driving a car or riding a bike.

    In a movie, a piece of music, it’s all clearly defined by the artist. You could always argue performance art, but that’s an entirely different can of worms.

    Any idiot can play Shadow of the Colossus, no matter what their intent is. It doesn’t require you to think, just work the machinery. That can’t be said for most other works of art.

    How would you justify a hero fucking up in a movie, dying, and being brought back by the power of the quicksave? You just can’t.

    I remain undecided, but I think gamers are very far from making their case, because of letting those kinds of questions go unanswered. I think gaming is worth a lot more when existing in spite, rather than trying to please stocky academics, but that’s me.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. LePlatypus

    For me art is where someone must be incredibly talented to be able to create it so I consider pretty much all games art

    #13 4 years ago
  14. spiderLAW

    That’s a good question
    I guess it depends on what is spoken of in the Blog.

    I f***ing hate Twinkies. They make me sick…blah blah blah yada yada yada so all i am really trying to say is School Busses and Submarines piss me off


    There is something that i find within nature that cant be explained by any form of science, to be so invigorating to the mind and soul of a human.

    THAT IS A FORM OF ART but is definitely subjective. Some might see a blog like that being artistically written and its contents art inspiring….others might see it as some shit dribble coming from a gay. Lol

    #14 4 years ago
  15. spiderLAW

    Yes. I agree.
    But here’s the thing. So, the form of Gaming itself isn’t art obviously. I as the gamer am not an artist, makes perfect sense. I as the game designer am an artist and therefore what I create is art. The Game itself that has been designed with pieces and forms of art IS then, art.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. DSB

    @15 And so we’ve reached the gray area :P

    I’ll still argue that as long as the games remain chaos, and as long as our input define them, they aren’t art. I see your point though, any good game designer would ideally need as much depth and creativity as any other artist.

    I’ll only call a movie art if it truly is art when it’s a finished product though – not just because the concept behind it is art.

    That being said, I think 80-95% of movies made have as little to do with art as games. Although good acting is obviously neat.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. osric90

    Sorry, no DMC2…it’s the COSTUMBRE. And yeah…art is anything a human can do to express or transmit ideas, stories and feelings… Can a game do that? Fuck yes.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. YoungZer0

    Anything can be art. You just have to call it. The more people say it, the more it becomes defined as such. People look at Picasso’s weird pictures and say it’s art, without even blinking. But what makes it art? Nothing really.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. stretch215

    Art is totally subjective. End of story. If you think it’s art then call it art. Who cares what anyone else has to say.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. DSB

    If you can’t state a work of art, then it isn’t art.

    You might call something art, and you might agree with your friends that it’s art, but if you fail to uphold it when it gets countered, then it’s not art.

    It’s true that art has no rules, and I’d never dream of defining it myself, but you still have to prove your case when you make that claim, for it to be true. Art needs a reason, or it needs a reason, in not having a reason.

    Saying that it’s expressive and emotional just isn’t good enough. By that standard, My Chemical Romance is art. A chocolate bar is art. It simply isn’t, until you prove it to be so.

    Relativism is made of fail.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. onlineatron

    I f***ing hate Twinkies. They make me sick…blah blah blah yada yada yada so all i am really trying to say is School Busses and Submarines piss me off


    #21 4 years ago
  22. deanimate

    Immense game.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Michael O’Connor

    @19 I think the problem isn’t whether its art (that argument is old as hell by now) but whether it’s good art.

    Good art: Silent Hill 3 and 3, Ico, FFXII, Shadow of the Colossus, Rez, Bioshock 1.

    Bad art: All the MGS games, God of War, most Final Fantasy games, Bioshock 2.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. sg1974

    This game reminds me of that joke about the british SAS mission in Iranian Embassy – about 20 took part but so far 2000 people have claimed they were there. I reckon for every 20 people who say they played this about three actually did. ;o)

    #24 4 years ago
  25. GitForceGemini

    “But I wonder what part are they are referring to when they make that comment.”

    The music. (Music is art, right?)

    #25 4 years ago
  26. DSB

    It wouldn’t be hard to create art in the form of a videogame, but they just wouldn’t be fun to play. As long as videogames consist of random, unpredictable interaction defined by a user, with no neccesary or justifiably meaningless purpose within the work itself, then I don’t see how you could possibly class that as art.

    You could make a game where you were a prisoner heading for a concentration camp, being herded into trains and forced to walk in line, all in real time, with hours and hours of waiting. Potentially you could break out and either be severely beaten, or killed. Going AFK would result in the same.

    Or worse, you could make one that put you in the role of the guard. To me, that would be one way of making random and unpredictable interaction into art.

    Likewise, I think you could argue that JFK: Reloaded was close to art. If nothing else, then simply for being a true murder simulator.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. DaMan

    @23 the issue with the second part of your comment is that nobody apart from certain delusional consumers and journos making a living off videogame articles ever said those games were meant to be art.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. DSB

    @27 Sorry for flooding the comment section (again) but I think you hit the nail on the head with that one.

    The problem is that a lot of games writers pushing the art debate, wouldn’t know an art piece from a elephant. They’re simply so infatuated with games that they feel they should be called art.

    I know the feeling, I own 1115 heavy metal albums, and I worship the stuff, but I’d never delude myself to the point of calling it art, simply because it stimulates me beyond belief.

    I think the truth is that none of them were ever meant to be art. They were just meant to be beautiful, profound games that entertain the player. All that shines is not gold.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. biscutsforbreakfast

    I think that games can be considered art. But not all games are art. For me, Shadow of the Colossus was definitely a work of art because it brought out emotions. Art is not just the process like some people have been saying, but it is also the experience. I felt insignificant and alone in front of a colossus the way someone feels when they look at the stars or the ocean. They are these hulking organic masses and you are killing them. There was something powerful in that for me. The creativity was definitely a plus but it is the experience that makes games art to me.

    However, it would have been better if Ueda had kept his mouth shut. Something is art when it is made with the intention of being art. When you remove the intention, the art disappears. That is how Marcel Duchamp was able to call the urinal a piece of art. Because he had changed the intention.

    I am a graduate art student and I can say that I consider games art, but not all of them. Only ones that provide an enriching and emotional experience. One day, games will be art, but right now they are in a transitional period.

    Art is subjective. So even if you don’t like it, at least appreciate that someone has made it and recognize the intent behind it.

    #29 3 years ago

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