The Melting Pot – January 2010
Daniel Coleman, Co-owner, director, artist, manager, and level designer at Semnat Studios.
Q: Do you consider video games a form of art?
A: Video games can be an avenue for artistic expression just as any other medium can. The medium doesn’t determine whether something is or isn’t art, in my opinion. One way of describing art could be any abstract expression of a person’s thoughts, feelings, or so on. Whether they choose to do this through dance, music, writing, drawing, sculpture, photography, designing games, etc., is not important in that sense.
The definition of art is much-debated and people love to put things into neat little categories. And that’s fine, that’s a natural thing that we do. For me art is about the process, my reaction to the final work, and then its relationship with the audience. If I don’t put my heart into something the result is empty and I might not consider it art. But if something genuine propelled the process and the result pleases me one way or another, I would consider that art.
Whether it’s good or bad art is a different matter! I’m still an amateur and I have a lot to learn, but I always try my best. I love drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, and sculpture, but no other medium gives me as much satisfaction and drive as game-making does. And that’s the entire process, from creating the assets to coming up with the game design itself.
It is one whole process for me, and it’s the medium I am most interested in as an aspiring artist. Hopefully I can eventually create something that a lot of people will appreciate.
Q: Why do you care that your game sells?
A: Well I could be making more games, and quicker, if I could actually make a living off the whole thing. Right now game-making is relegated to a hobby for me, but hopefully one day I will be able to do this professionally.