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9-11-2007 @ 1:11PM
I disagree that WoW is a work of art, having played and enjoyed it for more than two years. Back in the olden days, I was thrilled when I helped my guild take down Nefarian for the first time, but just because I was excited to see everyone dancing around piles of defeated monsters surrounding the fallen body of our greatest challenge to date did not make my experience art. I believe that art, in its highest form, encourages change in an individual, has a profound impact, or seeks to enlighten those who participate. My experience playing WoW has never been enlightening in a way that reading Leaves of Grass or gazing into the Acropolis might be.This is not to say that only these kinds of monumental things are art, because art takes many forms and can be appreciated on many levels. However, I believe it's important not to allow a person's enjoyment with something define whether or not it is art.I would sincerely doubt that Blizzard, itself, believes it has made an artistic masterpiece with World of Warcraft. Its goal was to make a great, profitable game. Art comes second.I have to wonder, what are the profound, inspiring experiences in WoW?The music is good, but derivative in parts of Howard Shore's score for the Lord of the Rings. The art and character design is also exceptionally good for a MMO, but I think describing it as breathtaking goes a little far. The story is entertaining, but pretty typical stuff for fantasy.These comments might read as a condemnation of WoW, but take them with a grain of salt. I believe it's a great, fun game; as far as that goes, it's been one of the best. Its music, art design, and story have also been considerably better than most other games, but if I judge it as a real work of art, with the intention of provoking thought or broadening its players' perspectives, there are problems.I think that if a person believes World of Warcraft is a genuine masterpiece of anything but community gaming, it's because he or she enjoys the time they've spent so much that they want to.
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