Dark Souls 3 – The “Artist” Complication


Going into Dark Souls 3, I knew full well what to expect from the many experiences of my friends who have had played previous Souls games, and what their current experience and thoughts were about the newest Souls game in the franchise. I was never crazy about this franchise, until I was pestered enough from both my friends’ recommendations and conversations about the game. Up until now, I knew new players had many things to fear when first playing the game, but I did not know the huge frustration that it truly was until now. The beginning states of me transitioning into the Souls series was a series of unfortunate deaths (maybe around a hundred or so). Although this frustration did not stop me as I learned basic game mechanics such as the importance of dodging and parrying. Overall, the weeks long of play that I spent on this game has been a glorious love-hate relationship, but just as the sun is praised, I also praise this experience I had myself, as it was something new, and very addicting as I finally got into it (although I still died a lot). So now, I share you my thoughts on when it comes to who is the “artist” of this game.


First: What is Dark Souls?

The Dark Souls franchise are a series of action role-playing and dungeon crawling games developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco. The publishing company Bandai Namco is best known for many of its famous other published franchises such as many of the Tales of Series, Tekken 6, some of Soulcalibur, and many other franchises. The Dark Souls series was first introduced in its first game Demon Souls, and slowly transitioned into the name of Dark Souls, leading up to its third sequel today. Today, the Souls franchise takes much widespread critical acclaim, with Dark Souls 3 today becoming Bandai Namco’s fastest selling video game ever at three million copies sold worldwide just one month after its release.


The “Artist” of Dark Souls 3

45muw3fWhen it comes to accounting the “artist,” or the creator of this video game, accounting for who the creator is complicated due to the many creators that it has overall. For video games, there are many departments that have separate creators for separate aspects of a game. These many separate aspects of a game that have many different creators can be the designers, artists, programmers, scriptwriters, or music/sound developers. Per Becker, “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 39). If we are to take account Becker’s quotation here of what art is, and just who are the creators, we can vaguely get that everyone involved in the production of something are the “artists” collectively. This means that the whole development team that collaborated and contributed something into the video game are the creators.

In conclusion from Becker’s statement, a videogame development team is the one who is responsible for being acknowledged as the “artist,” as they collectively had produced the game overall.


Becker, H. S. (2012). Art Worlds. Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press.



10 thoughts on “Dark Souls 3 – The “Artist” Complication

  1. I have never played any of the Dark Souls games but i heard they are extremely difficult. If you make the argument that anyone who contributes to the game is the artist can you make the argument that the community is also the artist? I know Dark Souls has a pretty big speed running community like you pointed out so I am just curious.


    • It was quite hard to get into at first because of this difficulty and learning curve. One can make the argument that the community can be the artist due to contributions made from them, but I think I have made lacked in some of my explanation and I apologize. I think that anyone who officially contributes to the creation and publication of a game through the means of development is considered the artist.


  2. I’ve only played the first Dark Souls and that was really challenging. I like games with a mixture of challenge and story. This game was too difficult for my level of patience. The challenge however is a part of this game’s art. I’m curious as to who you think the artist is. Is FromSoftware the artist or is Bandai? Or are both considered the artists?


    • I think both are considered the artists because of the amount of contribution that both considerably offer. Although the developer is FromSoftware who does a great amount of actual creation, Bandai does offer contribution too because of their publication and actual marketization of the game, which is apart of a game industry.


  3. You don’t have a lot of meat on this post. It’s a double intro followed by a non answer. You need to use your experience to lead you to an answer and then start with that answer. If your experience of the game is its aesthetics, and that experience is of massochistic difficult, then who is responsible for that difficulty? Perhaps arguing that person is the author would be helpful? If it’s about everybody, then how does that look in the game? Describe it! Naming the developing and publishing companies doesn’t cut it for an answer.


    • Although I can not retaliate on the statement of this non having much content in explanation and analysis, I can still say that looking at a game in an overall perspective of combined artistic elements and game play mechanics seems to make the developer team collective the “authors.” If I were to branch from Becker’s quote that states involved parties can be considered as the “authors,” and deny that statement because of its vagueness, then I could probably convey why I think a certain group of people are its “authors,” instead of this huge group of people. As you said, if my experience of this game was purely more aesthetics when playing, I can obviously convey that the art developing team are the “authors” of this game.


  4. I like your approach on artist by using Becker to support you’re argument. I personally agree with this argument as well as everyone a part of the team add their own imaginative or technical skill to the pot to make this fun but hard game. I have played a little of dark souls and can totally understand the frustration with the game because of how difficult it is.


    • Thank you; the usage of Becker’s quote is something that lead me to much internal conflict when writing this blog, as I did have difficulty determining whether the artist was a collective group of people, a specific group of people, or one person them self. Although I do share this sentiment now that the developing team collectively can be accounted as the artist, it seems that there are disagreements and conflicts about this. In the end, though, I just think strongly that Becker’s quote synchronizes with who I think the artist is.


  5. I played Dark Soul for the same reason you did. I always saw how people talked about it being such a difficult game, and soon came to find out that it is one of the most difficult games out there. My curiosity led me to play it but i absolutely loved it (although yes it was frustrating at times but thats what made it fun). I Also agree to your reference of Becker on the artist being the team and different fields that made this game what it is today along with its community by its side to support it.


  6. I have never played this game so you also explain the game more and how to play with it. You did well with your argument but also try to make your readers want to play this game.


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