UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Title of Proceedings: 
2009 De La Salle University (DLSU) Arts Congress, Manila Philippines
Year of publication: 
Country of publication: 
City of publication: 
Month of Conference: 
February, 2009
Name(s) of Author/Editor(s): 
Conrado Jr. R. Ruiz; Sujitra Chodnok; Nor Hidayu Mohd. Salmi; Pham Trung Ha
Email of Author/Editor(s): 
cons.ruizjr@delasalle.ph; sujitra42@hotmail.com; nhidayu@miit.unikl.edu.my; ha.pham@vtc.vn

In this paper we present why computer games can be considered as art and how it can be used as a new medium to promote a country’s culture and traditional arts. First, to establish why computer games should be considered art, we consider the major theories of art such as in terms of historical, institutional, aesthetic, representational and expressive aspects. Several scholars have debated on validity of computer games as an art form, and in this paper we present their arguments as well as our own. Second, we present the computer games that we have developed and show how these can be used to exhibit the culture and art of a country.

The first game is Tuk-tuk (auto rickshaw) based on Thailand’s popular mode of transportation. It is essentially a taxi game where the player has to pick up passengers and bring them to their desired location. It is a simple casual 3D game whose main goal is to generate as much income before the time runs out. In the game the tradition architecture of Bangkok’s structures is shown, passengers wear Thai traditional costumes and Thai music is played in the background. It presents the country’s traditional art in form that maybe more palatable to most people in this Digital Age.

The second game is “O An Quan” (game of squares), a traditional board game played with stones in Vietnam. It is similar to Malaysia’s “Congkak” and the Philippines’ “Sungka”. The game is a competition between two people, each aiming to beat the other by trying to accumulate as many tokens as he can according to certain rules of distributions and moves. It’s a multi-player 2D game played with mouse and keyboard. In today’s modern and technological society, most children no longer play traditional games and spend most of the time playing computer games. But by adapting traditional games in video games we can preserve some of the country’s heritage and culture while making it interesting for the next generation.


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