Aspects of Culture: Arts & Literature (Arts)

[Originally posted on May 4, 2015]

By Jacob Toman

This is a public study on several pillars of culture. Gospel & Gaming is observing these foundational aspects of culture for the purposes of better educating our readers about how & why gamers are a culture unto themselves. 

For part one of this series, check out Language as a foundation piece of culture here.

For part two (Literature) of this series, check out Art & Literature as a piece of culture here.

Studying for this particular piece has been very inspiring. I've gotten to read up & learn about various artists throughout world history. Of course on the day of this publication, May 4th 2015, not only is it a high nerd holiday (May the Fourth be with you), it's also the birthday of the inventor of the Piano, which google has a feature piece on today.

Art is a central aspect of culture. Various cultural groups are defined by genres of music, and styles of imagery. The names come to mind of contemporary American pop culture & how various music styles are embraced by various people groups. Culturally supercharged figures grow out of the adoption of particular pieces of art by the masses and authorities in a particular culture.

*Classic Rock



*Hip Hop






*And many more!

 A piece of art from Tibet

A piece of art from Tibet

Music and other forms of art are stylized & depict the original artist's culture. Many forms of art are recognizable by their cultural origins. Art gives away it's cultural influences via language (in music), and in form in pictures.

 A depiction of the Khmer army from Cambodia

A depiction of the Khmer army from Cambodia

Whether it's a beautiful painted piece depicting hope or healthiness, or whether it's a musical score, art is an emotionally supercharged expression of the human experience. The tools that are used to make art allow for creativity in giving form to what would otherwise be an abstract concept. Musical instruments, pens, pencils, brushes, and now digital technology allow for the ideas of the minds to become tangibly sensible.

 The battle of Hastings by Huscarl

The battle of Hastings by Huscarl

Art can tell narratives that shape culture, or retell narratives from days gone by that have defined a particular culture. Both that which is relevant, and that which may be considered irrelevant can be put forward via the arts. Abstract concepts can be put on display through the medium of art to challenge assumptions, or simply be enjoyed.

 Jackson Pollack from 1950

Jackson Pollack from 1950

What does gamer art look like? What does gamer art reflect? What human experiences does gamer art mirror?

2 years ago, I was blessed to attend the Christian Game Developers conference and hear the following talk from game developer Thomas Henshell. In this talk he discusses Christian art throughout the centuries, and how video games fit into the long history of art.

Art is an outworking of the inward reflections of the artist. It's a reflection of what the artist sees within the particular piece. Artwork that we make as humans is the mirroring of the original artist who made all things. If you or I create a piece of art it would reflect our values, embody our skill, and reveal our focus.

It's these 3 factors that I put forward for the consideration of this particular piece:

*Art reflects values

*Art embodies skill

*Art reveals focus

Gamer's have their own art, in music, images, pictures, videos, literature, These works of art reflect the values of gamers, the skill of gamers, and the focus of gamers. Take some time to enjoy some great gamer art today.

 From Shadow of the Colossus

From Shadow of the Colossus