The game that I played for the past two is called MXGP 2. I know a lot of people will not know what MXGP 2, so I will start with a general summary of the game. MXGP 2 is a motocross game. For those who do not know what motocross is I will try to provide you with an accurate description. Tracks are built with obstacles such as jumps and turns with different types of dirt. Rain or shine, professional motocross racers still suit up with motocross gear, such as helmets, gloves, pants, long sleeve shirts and boots, (pictured above). Major brand companies such as “Fox” create these different gear options and sponsor professional motocross racers to use their gear. There are multiple types of dirt bikes as well including, but not limited to, Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Husqvarna, Suzuki, and TM. Each major brand has their “Factory racing teams” that only sponsor and pay the fastest racers. Third party sponsors also sponsor certain factory teams. For example, there is a factory Redbull KTM Team, a factory Monster Energy Kawasaki Team, etc. MXGP is a racing series that occurs in European countries and is raced overwhelmingly by European riders. There is a major U.S. racing series called the AMA and Supercross. But, this game, which is made in Europe, is a lot better than any American made game in my opinion.
Anyways, MXGP 2 was created by “Milestone,” (http://milestone.it/company/team/?lang=en), which is a game developer, producer and designer company. Because of this fact, I have to say that the Milestone company as a whole is the artist. When you look at a traditional piece of art such as a painting, you normally see the artist’s signature on the painting. This allows viewers to know who made the art and usually adds value. For video games, this is the same. But instead of an individual claiming to be the artist, video games like MXGP 2 understand how much “collective activity” it took to create the game. Howard Becker describes the term “collective activity” in his book titled “Art Worlds and Collective Activity,” when he writes, “Instead it treats aesthetic judgments as characteristic phenomena of collective activity. From this point of view, the interaction of all the involved parties produces a shared sense of the worth of what they collectively produce. Their mutual appreciation of the conventions they share, and the support they mutually afford one another, convince them that what they are doing is worth doing. If they act under the definition of ‘art,’ their interaction convinces them that what they produce are valid works of art” (Becker 1982, p.39). This is the essence of video games, the act of coming together to help each other create something amazing.
I can almost guarantee that every individual who worked at Milestone, (pictured above), and helped produced or develop this game felt like an artist and deservingly so. They are all artists who created a beautifully aesthetic game full of rich graphics and details. A game like no other game in its specific genre. The realistic game play in this game puts MXGP 2 in a class of its own and in my opinion is by far the best dirt bike game on the market. I encourage anyone who has read this, to try the game out. MXGP 2 is tremendously challenging, and because of this you are always trying to master it making MXGP 2 constantly ‘fun’ as well. Identifying Milestone as the artist influences our understanding of the game because it shows that video games with this much attention to detail takes more than one or even a couple of artists. It takes a team of highly talented individuals with specific skill sets to come together and create art in the form of a video game. Naming them is unnecessary, because they know that what they came together to do was worth doing.
Howard Becker. (1982). “Art Worlds and Collective Activity” in Art Worlds. Berkeley: University of California Press: pp. 1-39. [PDF or books.google.com]