Bad education = negative view on art

So I was listing to some old Extra Credit and it was about bring art to games from thinking about games differently and building them as art. This was a response to how people didn’t want their games to be moving into “art”.

The interesting part isn’t from the video but from the comments. The main thing the comments brought up is that with how our school system is more on readying us for test instead of making us think about works in different ways and how they relate to our lives. It the reason why people feel that art isn’t a good things since for most of their school day is probably on subjects that they grown to hate.
What do you guys think?

I remember my school life was pretty balance with learning different works and getting ready for test but not to the degree where it was nothing but test. The fact that I was in music class and art class means my school wasn’t going to get rid of the arts.

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I think, very generally speaking, that Arts have taken a backseat to the graduation rates. My schools always had music classes and art classes, but as I got older, those subjects became less and less important.

I’m definitely an advocate for arts in schools, but I also see things from the schools’ perspective. The more students who fail/don’t graduate, the less attractive their school becomes in the means of grants and other outside support. Focusing on tests to get their students to pass helps their bottom line while possibly harming the students’ overall education.

It’s a tough problem to try and solve.


God, my English Lit class was a waste. A real shame too, since we got to read some BELTING stuff. Frankenstein, The Road, Brave New World, 1984, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Bloody Chamber, those are are good ass reads, yo. Beyond that the books you have to read are often, at best, hideously unapealing to the age range reading them. At worst there were some genuienly awful books we had to read. Definately not the best way to introduce people to analysing art.

The entire system for art education is fucked to the absolute highest degree, but at the very least if the kids are learning about critical analysis through works they actually ENJOY. I was so lucky I got to read Frankenstein. The only full book in my English Lit education that I actually enjoyed first time, and MORE through critical analyisis. The system needs more books like that. It needs books that don’t spend ages meandering as an excuse for the autthor to show off their metaphor skills. Books with characters that people actually LIKE. Books with outlandish themes and actual god damn plots. It all sounds so obvious, but fuck me do most of the books you have to read as part of these education programs fuck this stuff up. We don’t need to keep them around anymore. We’ve come far enough to admit that some of these “classics” are trash and that there’s better stuff out there.

And that’s saying nothing of the exam systems you’ve mentioned. Fundimentally incompatible with artistic analysis. The whole systems needs a complete rethink, especially considering how absolutely nececery art education is becoming. But honestly, the system we have now would function a whole lot better if it made evn the slightest effort to engage students, and that’s probably the easiest and most attainable solution we can aim for as a society right now.

My lit education makes me angry yo.

But yeah, education is going to be the introduction to this kind of analysis to a vast majority of kids, and it’s hostility towards them definately contributes to the anti-intelectual sentiment a lot of them leave school with. At least in England.

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I regret not taking more art classes throughout my academic career. As I got older, I realized that I have a passion for layout and typography, which are both things I didn’t realize had their own dedicated schools of design. I think it’s important to have a broad education so that students can make their own choices about what they do or don’t want to latch onto. For example, I didn’t take AP Art History because I figured I’d be bored of classical and Renaissance paintings, which I thought I already understood. But if I’d taken it and learned about the Bauhaus School, I might have had an awakening ten years earlier than I did later on down the road. Plus, you can’t really appreciate how much work a piece of art takes unless you know how much work goes into it. Trying that art form and making “bad art” is the best way to appreciate “good art”.

That video’s conversation about analysis and “fun” is an idea that I constantly think about. Not to get too self-promotional, but I wrote an issue of my zine about Papers, Please and how “fun” doesn’t always have to be the same as “exciting” or “joyous”.

Also, thanks for sharing the video! I hadn’t heard of Extra Credits before.


I don’t think you really can teach people to like art anyway, you can expose people to it, but at some point it either sticks or it doesn’t you can teach art history, and the various forms and history of the appreciation of art. but there’s no trick to enjoying the stuff.

Rather I think the blame lies in the echelons of the art world, the groups who say such and such is or isn’t art. It’s elitism and like all elitism it denigrates the accessible, for many people it defines anything they have ever connected with as “not art”

personally I take a more holistic approach, everything is art, a doodle is art, a tweet is art, a well written bit of code is art, a plowed field is art. Some of it is good art, some of it is bad art, but everywhere the human hand touches or eye perceives, we create art. It’s inherent in us, we can’t help it. The trouble is that so many of us are taught to believe it is not art merely because they have not learned the shibboleths or been taught the secret handshakes.


I tend to agree with this. I have an issue with snobbery, especially in the art world. I tend to think of “art” in its literal term, as an abbreviation for “artifact”, as in “What does this artifact teach us about the nature of humanity?” On a personal level, I feel like that has given me a greater appreciation for all art, everything from gallery paintings at the Louvre to tiny paper zines hand-written by a local librarian.

This isn’t entirely seperate to the bad education point though. I agree completely, but also this form of elitism tends to manifest itself most strong in education thanks to the natural power dynamic. The same elitists you describe here are the people who decide what the kids in the system are exposed to, as well as what analysis of such works is “valid”. For example, in my education at least, there was absolutely zero tolerance for criticism of any of the books we read, moral or technical. Which was a real pain in the arse. But that’s delving into the problems that education has in general, beyond just art, specifically the degrees of seperation from the teachers and the people dictating important parts of the curriculum.

You’re right in that these people are the root of the problem, but I’d argue it’s only because of the power they’re afforded. Without that they could happily be wankers amongst themselves and we’d have no reason to care. Hell, they could even make good stuff. Jonathan Blow exists, after all.

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