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The Future of Art in Gaming

Gamified Art Gadget by Joe Chiappetta
Gamified Art Gadget is rare digital art by Joe Chiappetta on MakersPlace.
This animated tech cartoon alludes to what must happen for the art industry to be saved.

The Future of Art in Gaming:

Revitalizing the Art Market Through Game Integration

The ability for the masses to create art has become commonplace in our highly technological society. Everyone can be an artist, especially with all the online art-making tools available now. In the past, a person needed artistic skills to make art. Now all we need are certain websites that make the art for us through a form of artificial intelligence. To reiterate, I am not talking about tools that are coming soon. I am talking about free art-making tools that are available right now. A person needs to look no farther than Artbreeder to see the truth in this.

On one hand, making art simply by pressing buttons is a good thing, since more people can express themselves creatively. On the other hand, it may not be great for those trying to sell their art in an increasingly flooded and talented market. As the supply of art increases, it's value will decrease.

Therefore the future of art--as a highly valued commodity--lies not just in creating "better" art. Rather the future of valuable art lies in creating a better art experience. When art gets integrated into gaming environments, art can get radically more fun, relevant, and valuable. The exhibit halls, galleries, and artists able to make art-viewing and collecting more of a literal game are the ones who will rise to the top of an over-saturated art market.

The Plight of the Current Art Market

Some might still argue that the art market is fine as-is and does not need fixing. People might point to a few high-profile art sales at auction. However, these stories are in a fractional minority, and in most cases, the artist gets nothing from the resale of their work at auction.

Moreover, the rate at which colleges are cranking out graduates with $100,000 art degrees is staggering because most of those poor folks end up in horrible debt with no career in the arts to show for it. According to a 2014 report on art degree results, only 10% of those with art degrees make their living in the arts. So there is a massive disconnect between what the art market can currently sustain verses the myth sold to naive art students. Such issues can only fester for so long.

Saving the Art Industry

A number of companies already see the writing on the wall for the art market and are providing solutions to this matter. Opportunity has presented itself in the form of a whole generation that has grown up with video games, craving more, more, more. Therefore some digital visionaries are making bold moves to blend art and gaming into one integrated ecosystem.

EverdreamSoft CrystalSuite, MakersPlace, pixEOS, and CryptoVoxels all have projects that combine gaming with art in various ways, providing potential economic opportunities for the entrepreneurial artist. It should come as no surprise, since I am a long-time artist and art collector, that I am an active member of these communities. In fact, I spend a good deal of time touting the benefits of these new projects because most still don't know that these opportunities exist. I drink the Kool-Aid--so to speak--as do a growing number of professionals in the art and gaming industries.

Ironically, all 4 of these projects are blockchain-based, with cryptocurrencies playing a key driver in their innovation and economic agenda. All 4 projects also have ways to issue limited-edition cryptocurrency that is tied to artwork. This effectively makes owning limited-edition digital artwork possible too.  Yet the surviving projects will not be the ones who simply flash cryptocurrencies around... or rare digital art around. Rather the attractive companies will be those who integrate payments seamlessly (as in user-friendly) into their systems while also maintaining a lively gaming and artistic atmosphere that leaves customers coming back for more.

Soon it will not be enough to just collect art, or view art. The rising population of digitally native people will want to experience new adventures with their favorite art. Games can provide the perfect vehicle for such art. Imagine a virtual game where collectors shoot at each other's avatars while holding defensive shields that take the form of particular pieces of their art collection. Perhaps the art remains digitally scarred for a week before reverting back to its original appearance. The winner of the game could receive new rare digital art from an artist. Or perhaps the winner could receive a piece of the defeated collector's art.

Or imagine a virtual 3-D world where you--as an avatar--walk through digital galleries that display art on virtual walls that prompt you to discover new art by solving mysteries or riddles. All sorts of gamified incentives can be coded into this realm. Perhaps the more artwork of other artists that you share about on social media, the more points you receive that can be traded in for new artworks. Another option is that members of this 3-D virtual art world can earn new gallery wall space to exhibit their own collections as they complete certain online games or tasks.

As you can quickly see, such experiences are well-suited for building memorable interactions, and they are exactly what is needed to keep art more relevant as a highly valued item in our fast-paced, attention-competitive society. Therefore to the galleries, curators, artists, and collectors, I pose this question as a challenge;
To build a more vibrant future, how will you gamify your corner of the art world today?

Joe Chiappetta