NBA 2K17. The Game of Art.

NBA 2K17. The virtual basketball phenomena played by millions yearly and better yet by over seven thousand people on a daily basis. Not only is that beyond incredible but that is solely just based on the charts of people playing online over PC. Thanks to the charts displayed by our friends over at STEAM.


7 Thousand Plays a day. This is not even counting the thousands of people playing on different consoles. But today, we will be talking about what makes this game culturally outstanding..

“A game is a rule-based system with a variable and quantifiable outcome, where different outcomes are assigned different values, the player exerts effort in order to influence the outcome, the player feels emotionally attached to the outcome, and the consequences of the activity are negotiable”. (Jesper Juul, pg. 36)

Juul could not have said it better. When we are so involved and sucked into our own little world of NBA, any little mistake we make can suddenly give us the urge to throw our game remotes at the wall. It is intensifying to know that a win in NBA is like a title. Winning a game of NBA is not only about the feeling of success but also the bragging rights to be able to say you are the best baller out of the crowd.. But HOW?????? How is a sport such as Basketball that is created visually into a game ever be considered art? Some people find it crazy to believe that these video games could ever be considered art.

The two BIGGEST facts that just simply cannot be argued about on why 2K17 is an art form is as clear as a cold cup of Sprite!

1. Facial Features.

When people talk about who is the best artist out in the world, the first names that come to you’re head might be big names such as Pablo Picasso, van Gogh or maybe even Lady Gaga.

Okay.. maybe not Lady Gaga… but back to the facts. Although, NBA 2K17 developers are not the first ones to pop up into your mind when thinking about fine art. There is no way that anyone can deny that the great amount of details that are poured into the faces of these characters can be considered great pieces of art. The crazy thing is that NBA 2K17 gives you the option to scan your face and literally puts you into the game. THIS is very very very cool. If that isn’t one of the greatest advancements in video games, I do not know any other way you could be convinced to believe that 2K17 is one of the greatest forms of art.


Stephen Curry, #30 Golden State Warriors.

Left side (Real life portrait)

Right side (2K17 Version)

2. Gameplay/Action.

Okay, so maybe you were not so convinced about graphics.. but let’s really knit down into  the actual gameplay now.

The gameplay is virtually insane, if you really think about what is going on behind the scenes.. your remote control, which for me is a playstation 4, is the telepathic connection between your mind and your player. The way that the developers developed the game is incredibly good because there is zero latency between actions. If I want to shoot a basket from half court or just pass the ball to one of my teammates it does just that. No questions asked. Not convinced? The gameplay visuals when taking shots compared to an older vision is waaaaay smoother on so many levels. It really takes an ARTIST to ever be able to develop the things that these virtual athletes are accomplishing in these virtual games.


“Even the most perfect reproduction of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space.” (Walter Benjamin Pg. 29)

Word to Walter Benjamin, although it 2K17 is far from perfect it is damn near close. This game is far too advanced to be looked down upon as garbage. NBA 2K17 is visually and virtually a moving piece of solid gold in the eyes of video game and basketball lovers across the states.


The last major topic I had to bring up in this blog is the story mode. Your all-star player can pick any team you like and you can virtually build up your team to be the greatest out there. I personally do not like to use the story mode because it feels like it is very limiting to my gameplay. When I started playing it felt a lot like it was too technical, so I moved over to the multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode is where its at, I had the best time playing with real life online people in real time. I borrowed my friends console as well as his microphone to communicate with other teammates and it felt a lot smoother to really interact with my teammates. “Offering to express a general human interest… and skilled workers producing a certain kind of marginal commodity” (Williams, pg. 32) NBA 2K17 brings the best to the table and the multiplayer SPARKED my interest even further into the game without a doubt. This is also my last and final reason why I consider NBA 2K17 art. The gameplay is amazing and it makes you really feel like you are in the game when playing in the multiplayer scene. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking to enjoy the thrill of a sports game.


More information as well as purchase links of NBA 2K17 to over 50+ stores..

As well as High Quality 4K youtube movie trailer of the game in the hyperlink below!

NBA 2K17 4K Trailer


Jesper Juul. (2005). “Video Games and the Classic Game Model” in Half-Real: Video Gamesbetween Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. Cambridge: MIT Press: pp. 23-54. PDF.

Benjamin, W. (2010). “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” United States: Prism Key Press.


9 thoughts on “NBA 2K17. The Game of Art.

  1. Quick question did you ever use the facial feature to scan your own face? I had a couple of friends who tried it out and it did not end up very good. The multiplayer makes this game so awesome! I hate losing and I can see how people get so into the game. How do you think the game play improve from last years model?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The facial feature was a bit sketchy at first, I had to do try it out a couple times before it really got my face right but after that gameplay was very smooth. I really liked the graphics on this version better than last years model forsure!


  2. I didn’t think it possible but you have convinced me that NBA2K17 is art. The part that got me was when you mentioned, “there is zero latency between actions. If I want to shoot a basket from half court or just pass the ball to one of my teammates it does just that. No questions asked.” It really is a form of art the way developers create a game that is parallel to the players’ way of thinking, and they do all of this through coding. Also, I wish now I would’ve played this game to try out the face scan feature.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really liked how you looked through the lens of the multiplayer aspect of the game since it is predominantly played in that way. Talking about the facial features and other aesthetically pleasing aspects of the game was a nice touch as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ya the game really excels when it integrates good multiplayer, especially with a sports game. Could only imagine if multiplayer was lack luster how it would negatively effect the game. It really lives or dies with solid a multiplayer experience.


  5. Great way of using the comparison of the real Stephen Curry to its character to help create the idea of NBA2K17 as being art. Also good job on the break down of the game play with the story mode and its multiple player action.


  6. If find it pretty crazy how these sports games have changed so much throughout the years, such as in your example of facial features. Graphics have came a long way which indeed can make it art especially considering it’s a sports game. Creating your own character and playing as it were your own life really is what makes this game what it is. Good read!


  7. I really enjoyed the way you meshed all the ideas together. My favorite part is that you intertwined two big aspects of the game and correlated them with art. I do agree that the graphics of the game are amazing. The facial structure of each player is almost perfect. I also agree that it takes an artist to make the player connect to the virtual character. However, doesn’t all games have that? Doesnt all games have an aspect of control by the human player? If that is the case, then would all games be art?


  8. You sound very enthusiastic about NBA 2k17. I really like the way you related Juul’s theory and how you used it to defend this game as art. I personally have never seen it as art, but then again i am not the biggest NBA fun.


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