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John Carmack and games as art

Brad Gallaway's picture

One of those random thoughts you have in the shower:

John Carmack has been quoted a couple times as saying that he believes games are not art, and I was always put off that someone who has such a prominent place in the industry took such a disappointing line.

I started playing Doom 3 on the Xbox yesterday, and after getting through the first four or five levels, I think I can now understand why he feels that way.

The graphics are incredible for the Xbox, and the play mechanics are all solidly dialed in. It clings pretty closely to the id FPS formula, and I daresay that there aren't any aspirations present, save those of jump-scares and high adrenaline.

Although I think a case can be made for Doom 3 as art, I think an equally strong one can be made that it's not. It's a product made to certain specifications, and it fulfills a certain need, but it doesn't reach; it doesn't really try for more. But you know, some games and designers do.

Maybe Carmack should have said that his games aren't art, and left it at that.

Category Tags
Key Creator(s): John Carmack  
Series: Doom  

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