The Gutter

By: Xander

On: May 22nd, 2009

Gutter

The Gutter is a recently released “interactive piece of art” by Jan Willem Nijman and Robin Rodrigo Ramirez Rodriquez. I realise their full names weren’t neccessary, but writing that 2nd name was just such a joy.

Saying anymore would be spoiling things, just be sure to give it a try and post back your impressions. Interestingly you can donate $5 to the creators via email and they will add the feature of ‘Death’ to this “Interactive piece of art”. If you can’t afford the full version however the demo version does still feature the functions VOMIT and FEEL ASLEEP, as well as a number of hidden extras. Happy hunting, TIGobos!

  • Flamebait

    Speaking of definitions, can we please think of a better term than “art game”? It’s as meaningless as “art music” or “art film”, because all games are art, just like all pieces of music and cinema. It wouldn’t add any further information to “game” alone, except that a few chumps started arbitrarily using it to refer games with little interactivity. Neologism fail.

    I have practical concerns about the term as well. As more people come to be aware of the term (and invoke it more liberally), there’ll be alot of out-of-hand rejection, considering its the pompous, pseudo-intellectual connotations (that exist regardless of knowledge of the definition).

    Incidentally, does anyone know the history of “art game”? I assume it originated on the Internet, and could theoretically be traced, but it’d be cool if someone already knows the history.

  • Flamebait

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention. The Gutter is *far* too interesting to be an effective parody of The Graveyard.

  • avoidobject

    What a game is isn’t too hard to define. A game is an activity played under a set of rules or challenges, no matter what form it is in, or how you the game.

    Even something simple as me flipping a coin can be a game, say if I put the stipulation that I must try to get heads at least 5 times without getting tails.

    You take away the rule, you take away the game. There is no such thing as a game without rules.

    You can still flip the coin, but now you are doing so endlessly.

    And in the case of “art games,” you are doing so while looking at some vague metaphor for something meant to be artistic.

  • Anthony Flack

    I think indie games are in transition right now – actually I think all games are in transition. We’ve finished with the linear “progress” towards “better” games that comes with improving technology. We’ve seen where that leads. Now we’re trying to deconstruct it all and figure out what is actually important.

    I don’t really mind if there is a trend towards “art games” right now. Remember a couple of years ago, there was a huge trend towards neon-glowing vector graphics? These things move in cycles.

    Besides, the “indie spirit” and the “artistic spirit”, as poorly-defined as they are, are basically referring to the exact same thing. It’s quite natural that art games would be promoted and discussed here.

  • sllabymkcil

    You’re all fuckin talkin out your assholes! I love it! Keep on going to you pretentious fucks!

    This is like a guys version of a soap opera, in written form.

    Don’t stop now you douchebags, things were just starting to get heated!

    Hahahahahahahha

  • Anthony Flack

    Okay, how about this then?

    “Fuck off, you cock”

    Better?

  • Fuzz

    Rules are created by the developer, but they are not necessarily evident to the player. The player interacts with a set of verbs (walk, vomit, sleep) without the need to understand the rules. Sure, there are rules, but the person who initially brought it up seems to equate rules with objectives.

  • Anthony Flack

    Heh, when I saw my comment was flagged for moderation, I wondered if I shouldn’t have been a little more… moderate… but nope, seems to be all good!

    What can I say, anti-intellectualism really bugs me.

  • JW

    Guys guys. Stop it.

    “I have practical concerns about the term as well. As more people come to be aware of the term (and invoke it more liberally), there’ll be alot of out-of-hand rejection, considering its the pompous, pseudo-intellectual connotations (that exist regardless of knowledge of the definition).”

    The gutter is about the opposite: people loving shit because someone has tagged it art. We don’t want that.
    The same goes for disliking games just because they have shooting or zombies.

    Ok? Now be nice to eachother.

  • xerus

    Lucas’s farm is on the other side of town.

  • Disillusioned Spinster

    Content draws readership. A news/gaming website is only as good as the content it front pages.
    Find better content, or keep up the crap and die.
    Unless it’s not possible to find better content because it’s not there. In which case the site is not needed, and the grapevine will suffice for grabbing the cream of the indie slurry.

  • Flamebait

    ^ That’s cold mah brederen.

    @JW:

    “The gutter is about the opposite: people loving shit because someone has tagged it art. We don’t want that. The same goes for disliking games just because they have shooting or zombies.”

    “Interactive piece of art” =/= “art game”. Not at all what I was talking about.

  • 7point83hertz

    my opinion about it first: i love it, had an excellent laugh over it with a friend.

    i don’t agree that everything is art @flamebait. art is anything that serves no purpose but its own existence. by that definition neither the graveyard nor gutter nor cave story is art. art has become a positively con notated spread word like “good” or “interesting” or “i don’t understand”.

    stop crying about either guys, nobody forces you to play and all left is pure jealousy.

  • Flamebait

    @7point83hertz:
    “art is anything that serves no purpose but its own existence. by that definition neither the graveyard nor gutter nor cave story is art.”

    Correct, but that’s because your definition is out there. I’d say a piece of art is a “semi-permanent expression of culture”. Your definition excludes almost everything that people call “art”.

    “art has become a positively con notated spread word like “good” or “interesting” or “i don’t understand”.”

    Right, but those connotations could be swept away if enough people recognized that art can be (and often is) bad.

  • JW

    I called it an interactive piece of art just to sound fancy and get attention. And it worked hi.

    bye

    (jk this is a joke I’m not sarcastic)

  • AmnEn

    @7point83hertz:
    No one is crying and no one is jealous. You’re quite mistaken there. Although it is slightly funny that you try to climb the “high and mighty” horse along with several others.
    I’m sorry but discussion and opinion does not equal a sobbing attack of whine. The disgruntled rant of a Warcraft Player about how the company betrayed him, yes that’s a whine. And there’s nothing of that going ’round here.

  • Askhole

    Art, by definition, is subjective, from the latin ‘Ar’ meaning ‘to create’ and ‘t’ meaning ‘you’, or – ‘you create’.
    A game, on the other game, is objective – as in, there is an objective to the game. This piece claims to be art. But it also has an objective – to be art, therefore it must be a game. According to Ninsche’s theorem, the subjective-objective aspects of this duom cancel each other out, leaving nothing. Hence – this is nothing.

  • BarstoolSniffer

    how do I F-CK the caT?

  • http://hackflip.com plvhx

    guys,
    jw is the fucking auter of auters.

  • mirosurabu

    Call it “nuovo game”. I like that.

  • mirosurabu

    or sadlet

  • Paul Eres

    “Because Definitions actually have a use. […] It’s quite useful to determine whether something is to your tastes or not.”

    it seems the main “use” of the definition of game is people arguing over what is or isn’t a game when they see a game they don’t like or are confused by. how is that useful?

  • Pietepiet

    This is the best series of comments I have ever read. Comedy gold.

  • plvhx

    paul, you’re talking semantics.

    i’ll copy/paste directly from tot’s misguided, ambiguous, and self-contradicting ‘manifesto’:

    “Drop the requirement of making a game.
    The game structure of rules and competition stands in the way of expressiveness.
    Interactivity wants to be free.
    Gaming stands in the way of playing.
    Games are games.
    Stop making games.”

    so there you have it. they saw some pretty things in videogames, decided ‘that could be Art’. now they hail from that lofty position and use it as an excuse for poor design, and style before substance.

    for extra hilarity:
    http://tale-of-tales.com/

    read the latest post to fully grasp how firmly this guys head is buried in the sand (also, bonus whilsts in the comments for you trolls).

  • plvhx

    dear paul, please visit
    http://tale-of-tales.com/

    straight from the horses’ mouth.

  • AmnEn

    >it seems the main “use” of the definition of game is people arguing over what is or isn’t a game when they see a game they don’t like or are confused by. how is that useful?

    What makes you think that? Usually when people don’t like a game, they simply say that they don’t like the game.
    Well, likewise if they don’t understand a game, that basically defaults to not liking it anyways thus bringing forth the same Judgement: Do not like.
    Which of course creates an entirely different issue, which we just recently clobbered to death in the comments and the Wastelands (Forums).

    I’m not entirely sure how to otherwise answer to your comment, as I don’t see or reckognize the behavior you’ve mentioned outside of blatant trolling. The “Art” (of? :P) Discussions I’ve read here were all more or less valid.

    Sidenote:
    I quite like the term “Interactive Art” and believe using that instead of “Art Game” would squelch the whole issue right form the get-go.

  • Emmimmem

    Is not interactive art too broad a canvas, pardon the pun? Physical art is, by its very nature, interactive. You can touch a sculpture. You can participate in a performance. Virtual art (which i would use to encompass art games) is not tangible, and ..blah..blah..blah

    Here’s my conclusion: Games are supposed to be fun. This is not fun. Art is supposed to be pretentious. This is. Therefore it is not a game. It is art. Voila!

  • JP

    Anthony Flack, both of your (serious) comments were great. Very nice way of putting things.

  • not JP

    @JP – with 127 comments to choose from you like Anthony Flack’s Cock comment best? Some Freudian issues you have there, mate.

  • Cactus

    I like this game. It’s similar to latest project: a game where you play an egg that throws up.

  • Bill

    Confession time. All the comments on this post were written by me. It’s true.

  • Cactus

    hey you’re not cactus. I’m the real Cactus!!!

  • Merlin

    Do you get it yet?
    The game is just a blind. The real interactive art is this page – the comments. And it’s a work in progress.

  • cactus

    We’re all cactus, in our own special way.

  • Paul Eres

    plvhx: i’m well aware of ToT, the developers of ToT are friends of mine. it’s true that their manifesto says they don’t make games. but their site also says they make games, and that they’re a game creation company. there is more than one meaning of game. in some ways they make games, in other ways they do not. words are not inflexible rigid black and white things. sometimes something can both be and not be a game, in different respects.

  • cecil is a child molester

    This is not a game. This is shit. I thought this was an Independent “GAMING” News site (and part time pie bakery)? Not an “art” site, not a “satire” site…

  • Homer

    mmm mmm part time pie…

  • MasterShake

    “art” is probably the most bastardized word in the dictionary. You shouldn’t have expected any better.

  • cactus

    this thing is cactus.

  • plvhx

    paul, i can’t stand the amount of vitrol they have for ‘games’. they claim to want to take the technology and use it to a greater end, but fall horribly short. i really do want to like tot for what they’re doing; in concept the graveyard and the path are wonderful, but in execution they are awful. when you push buttons and the results are not meaningful the interaction suffers, and prevents quality of experience.

    you make good videogames, so i hope you stick with that. i’m all for atmosphere and emotion, but not as an excuse for underhanded design.

  • cactus

    that last comment was cactus.. just cactus.

  • Bill

    No, really! I’m serious! Most of the comments on this post were written by me. Almost a hundred of them. I invented the aliases and personalities: Foppy, Flamebait, SaucyLover999.. even Anthony Flack. They’re all me. It’s my work of art..

  • Quetz

    Art is art when the creator defines it as such. There’s no other criteria for something to be art.

  • Null

    True.

  • Ruben

    You do know this is a satire on “the graveyard”, right?