After Cinema: The Eighth Art

In 1895, the story of one of many people’s favorite pastimes begins. From the moment it was born to the present day, it has undergone great transformations, and the most surprising thing is that these changes have occurred in a relatively short time in relation to the history of man. This hobby is cinema. However, this week we are not going to devote it to this art. It will help us to understand the reasons behind the main topic we want to talk about: video games.

As we have said, cinema appeared almost at the beginning of the 20th century. In the beginning, it was something that the spectators could not understand, as if it were magic. It is said that some people felt it was so real that even the first-time audience was afraid to watch a train approach them.

Time passed, and this new activity was refined in a story that we will not tell today. The important thing, what we care about: It became the seventh art.  It has such an influence that it has managed to make its way through ordinary or critical citizens, it has the capacity to make us reflect and not leave us indifferent. We also have to thank the many directors who showed the power of this new hobby.

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Understanding this… Are we in a similar situation with this new hobby, which emerged almost 100 years after the birth of cinema? To help us move forward, we will consult what the spanish dictionary has to say about what is considered art:

2. Manifestation of human activity through which the real or imagined is interpreted or captured with plastic, linguistic or sound resources.

With this meaning we can confirm that videogames -or a part of them- fulfill this premise in which reality is interpreted, or the imagined is expressed. We have to understand that, just as we have to thank those great directors for the gifts they left us in the form of movies, not all video games have the same value. In addition, it is cheaper – and thus more affordable – to develop one of these new entertainments, which in the end produces much more supply.

In addition, just as we don’t value all films equally, we should filter out all the videogames we have, to realise that in the end there are also a number of projects that are really interesting. We believe that some of these projects are the pioneers that will give video games the eighth art category.

We see how this new product follows the same steps that the cinema followed at the time. It has ended up generating an immense economic engine, as a result of the large number of people who enjoy it. It even has its own festivals, except that unlike being events where awards are given to the best titles, they are more exhibition-oriented, and become the showcases of what is to come in the coming years.

The biggest example of this is the so-called E3, which is taking place these days. Here very important companies like Microsoft or Sony, or others less known to those who don’t follow this field, like Bethesda or Activision, show the games that are in development, either starting to be produced or about to be finished.

We want to dedicate the week to this new hobby that has to claim its position as the eighth art. Because in this one we can find an integration of the other seven in a similar way as in the cinema. The graphic intermingles with the acoustic, which in turn merges with the people. The great thing about these masterpieces of video games is not that they teach us about our usual fields of work, but that in addition to being able to give us very interesting current reflections, they are also capable of altering the established rules in which we understand the world around us. They invent new ways of ” managing ” space, of transforming it, or of interacting with it. They are exciting experiences that help us rethink our understanding of the world.

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