The Mona Lisa needs more dinosaurs

| Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Art is a strange thing. It's not quite a product, even if we often treat it as such. It's not so customizable. Don't like your toaster? Someone is making a similar one, but with that feature you want, and it doesn't spontaneously ignite quite as often. But have you ever tried getting the museums to just do some minor fixing? They keep hanging up on me. For starters, that smile, it's just... creepy. Just get some art students and some fine brushes and fix that up. We'd all like it a lot more.

And of course, dinosaurs.

Games are art-like in this way. I won't go into the artistic merit of them, but they share this quality, of your great change absolutely ruins it for someone else. Maybe the Mona Lisa really could use more dinosaurs and less smile. Maybe it would be a much better painting. Or maybe not. Or maybe!

Just think: Dinosaurs in the background rampaging toward Miss Lisa.

Why does she have that grin? Because just out of the frame she's holding a remote detonator. Those dinosaurs aren't rampaging, they're running-to-deathing.

See how much meaning and nuance, how much drama and action is added with the dinosaurs? She's ten times as awesome, at least. Who knew she was actually a talented engineer, putting all those Renaissance men to shame? And most of the next few centuries as well. Da Vinci thought his tank was so great, but why didn't he make it? It would have been great against the dinosaurs! But she had anti-tank weapons, even before he made it. That's planning ahead. In the arms race she had stolen the starting gun and was using it to threaten everyone else.

Did you know there were dinosaurs in Italy so recently? Well not anymore, and now we know why.

Surprisingly, the dinosaurs are off-topic and now I just don't care. Because dinosaurs would have been awesome.


Darraxus said...

Dont forget one of those cool helmets that you can drink beers out of.

Anonymous said...

There are dinosaurs just out of the frame to the left and right. And her left thumb is actually on the button to blow them up. Few people care but those are the facts. I was there.

And who's to say it's not true? There is no comprehensive catalog of Mona Lisa's world. No datamined loot tables or list of creatures with their hit points and abilities. The existence of these things for virtual worlds limits our ability to imagine outside the known frame and build elaborate defenses against dinosaurs.

Tesh said...

MMOs and other "live" games are more like adlib performance art than a painting. The expectation of evolution breaks a lot of rules of gallery art.

That's just the medium.

Klepsacovic said...

@Anonymous: With no evidence to the contrary, I'm pretty sure you're a member of the art critic conspiracy. My point is that you can't just make stuff up. It must have a logical basis. "Did you know there were dinosaurs in Italy so recently? Well not anymore, and now we know why." See?

@Yow: You're free to link mine if you want, but it usually takes a few weeks of me glancing, forgetting, remember, and forgetting again before I add anything to my blogroll.

@Tesh: Thank you for suggesting that my WoW-as-art failed tangent was not a total failure.

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