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Is there a new 2600 cart with Ian's book Slow Year?

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I don't get it. It's art, maybe. If you say so. It's awful soothing if nothing else, but seriously. $500 just because it's art?

 

 

 

I'll be getting Pier Solar, a PowerPak, and Battle Kid:FoP with $300 left to spare. And they're art too.

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I don't think there's anything wrong with making money through one's work, whether that work is writing or speaking or fixing motorcycles or making Atari games.

Generally you are right, but my experience shows, that (too much) money can ruin a hobby (which IMO shouldn't be compared with fixing motorcycles), since it attracts greedy people. We already had a few, we sure don't need more. That's the main reason why I am that skeptic.

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You are still missing the point that it is an artwork made by an artist, and not a 'game' in the true sense of what we play and collect here. As an artist you can't be making work and selling it for price'X' and then suddenly come out with a new work using the VCS as its medium, and offer it for 1/10 of price'X' - you would be undermining the value of your work past and present. And to produce a larger run of more carts off the side of this project would also be undermining the 25 sets that you were asking price'X' for.

 

 

 

That is very insightful. It gives me a new perspective. Thanks. But I guess anyone designing a game could consider himself an artist and ask for what he believes his work is worth. It just depends on the intention of the work: i.e. to have as many people as possible play and enjoy it or to create something to be valued and admired.

 

That's also an interesting point. Sure anyone can call themselves an artist, and ask what they like for their work. But unless they have a history of art practice, chances are people will not fork out big dollars for a 'newbie's' art. All artists start out small and build their reputation with quality work and time. To simply call yourself an artist and suddenly ask large sums of money for your work will not work, people don't part with big money that easily.

You get all types of artists, but a true artist is one who creates without being swayed by commercial pressures or popular trends. True, almost all artists exhibit and sell their work, they do need to eat too, but if you create solely for the intention to sell then the integrity of your work will ultimately fail. Some artists 'sell-out', some artists create to sell, I guess these are 'commercial artists' who essentially approach their practice as a business.

Then you have 'artists' who really should be considered as 'hobbyists', but that is where the definition gets blurry.

And of course in the art world you have plenty of bad artists, and bullshit artists ;)

So where does the author of this work, Ian, sit? I don't really know him, that is actually probably the biggest factor stopping me from buying the item, I like to buy art from people I know. But I wouldn't hazard to guess, based on the quality and maturity of his work, that Ian is quite an established and respected artist/poet in his community. I would say that the majority of sales, if not all, will come from people that know his work, follow his work, or that know him as a poet and artist, - not particularly from anyone wants this strange atari game. That is probably why he did not advertise the sale of the item here on AA, instead he'd rather discuss it with interested members, and if interest grew to 'want' I'm sure he would have discretely pointed people in the right direction to go and get one.

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Has anyone else noticed that not a single cart has been sold since this thread has started? This has gotten me to think that perhaps this guy kept 1 or 2 for himself, and gave a few to friends, and family. It could very well be possible that this guy has either sold 1 or 2, or perhaps none at all.

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I don't get it. It's art, maybe. If you say so. It's awful soothing if nothing else, but seriously. $500 just because it's art?

 

That's the way the art world is. Go to a charity art auction sometime. People will pay ridiculous sums for god awful crap just because it's "art".

 

I don't think ibogost is doing it this way for the money. I'm sure he knows he'd sell more than 10x the carts at $50 than $500. He's doing it for art snob cred.

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herewith, some disorganized thoughts on this topic:

 

Everybody hates the fact that it costs $500 (myself included, because I'd love to own this), and is doing all sorts of general moaning about "what passes for art these days" and such, but I think it's an interesting idea :thumbsup:

 

You see the same kinds of discussions on forums for musicians. "Why does Guitar X cost $4000 when I can get Guitar Y that plays and sounds just as good for $499?" Well, because Guitar X is Guitar X and Guitar Y is Guitar Y. A lot of times, what makes a guitar expensive is (1) where it's made and (2) how much people are willing to pay for the name on the headstock, and if people are willing to pay the sticker price, what's wrong with that price? The fact that Guitar X costs $4999 isn't going to price people out of being able to buy Guitar Y.

 

I understand the concern about this sort of project bringing people into the homebrew scene who are looking to make money, but I don't think that's going to happen here. Ian is a writer, with his own audience (I really enjoyed Racing the Beam, FWIW) and this thing comes with a book of essays--what was the last homebrew game that came with a bunch of essays? Or a 152 page book? I would imagine the printing costs of the book have something to do with the price.

 

I think this project is something else--not "just" a homebrew game aimed at enthusiasts. (I use "just" in quotes because I think homebrew game authors are just as creative as any other artist, and their work just as valid). It's sort of aimed at a different audience of people, and that's why it's priced the way it is. The whole package is what's interesting to me--the fact that the game has a companion book. I find something about that depth of thought and the commitment to take Atari programming seriously as an art form very compelling.

Edited by ~llama
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About the guitar thing:

 

Yeah, but it's usually quality and rarity. Even homebrew games that are only 30 or so made go for less then that usually. RARELY break $100. So why would the price be $500 for just another homebrew? Okay, it's art. If you really try to pass this as art TO GAMERS then your in the wrong place IMO. Not to be mean, but man, this is just way too much for me. I am making a homebrew and also plan to do a run of 25. I'll probably sell for price of parts +$10 or so. Should it be called art make it x12 the cost of a normal game? 0_o It just seems insane to me.

 

 

And yeah, he didn't sell any more. I wonder why? (Not really)

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About the guitar thing:

 

Yeah, but it's usually quality and rarity. Even homebrew games that are only 30 or so made go for less then that usually. RARELY break $100. So why would the price be $500 for just another homebrew? Okay, it's art. If you really try to pass this as art TO GAMERS then your in the wrong place IMO. Not to be mean, but man, this is just way too much for me. I am making a homebrew and also plan to do a run of 25. I'll probably sell for price of parts +$10 or so. Should it be called art make it x12 the cost of a normal game? 0_o It just seems insane to me.

 

 

And yeah, he didn't sell any more. I wonder why? (Not really)

 

On second thought, the guitar thing is probably a bad analogy, other than to say that they cost a lot of money because, well, that's how much they cost.

 

As for the limited run homebrew thing, factor in writing and editing a 150+ page book of essays and having "leather casebound, foil embossed ... with color detail" copies professionally printed into your price, and while $500 is probably more than enough to cover it, you'll still probably want to sell it for more than the average homebrew sells for. I dunno. I agree that $500 is a lot of money, but I don't think the fact that it's a limited run of cartridges is the only motivating factor behind the price. I guarantee you that the book costs an order of magnitude more to produce than the Atari cartridge.

 

I guess I also don't really get the venom directed at calling it "art." I'm not saying that in a condescending way, either--I genuinely don't understand what's wrong with calling something a piece of art with the Atari 2600 as the medium. Is that not allowed? Too pretentious?

Edited by ~llama
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I guess I also don't really get the venom directed at calling it "art." I'm not saying that in a condescending way, either--I genuinely don't understand what's wrong with calling something a piece of art with the Atari 2600 as the medium. Is that not allowed? Too pretentious?

 

 

Some people don't like art when they don't get it, and they get narky cause it is not simplifying things to their level. They like paintings of landscapes and portraits, and pretty flowers, because you can look at it and say 'it's a flower'.

 

As an artist you get that all the time, 'I don't get it, it's shit, it's poncey art snobbery', or 'I could have done that, my 8 month old could have done that'. Not everything in life has to be literal. If everything was obvious, our brains would shrink to the size of peanuts. There are things in life that we will never understand without questioning them. Why don't people who call art they don't understand 'shit' bother trying to work out what it is about before they force their simpleton opinion on us? They still might not like it, but at least they might learn a few things in the process.

 

This aside, I just don't get why there is so much negativity surrounding this persons art work. No one is pressuring anyone to buy it. The author is not here pushing it down our throats, advertising it for sale, trying to spin some rarity hype about it. He has made an artwork, and people have noticed it, and he is openly discussing it with the community that inspired him to explore the medium. He still has not directed us to a website, or given us a link, to sell us his work. It is not going to do detrimental damage to Atari collecting if he asks $500 for it, - if you think that one guy will push the price of games up because they have a certain asking price for an artwork that they made utilising the VCS, then you are blowing things way out of proportion.

The only annoyance I can understand is the dilemna faced by completist collectors, who would be keen to get hold of this cart.

 

Whether you like it or not, this guys has actually done something with the atari 2600 that is new and original, and I would think, if anything, he is celebrating an era and a system that we in this community live and breath for.

 

 

peace - out icon_wink.gif

Edited by nofrills100
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Some people don't like art collecting when they don't get it, and they get narky cause it is not simplifying things the aquisition to their level.

 

fixed that for you :D

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Some people don't like art collecting when they don't get it, and they get narky cause it is not simplifying things the aquisition to their level.

 

fixed that for you :D

Well just for the record I never denied it was art. I also am not narky that I can't have it but yes I am let down that this is the only option for a game I was actually kind of excited to own. I DO believe part of making the cartridge ONLY available in this $500 package set is because some completion collectors WILL buy it, just to have them all. It is a nice way to make sure you sell at least a few of your units, kind of an "insurance" policy if the package doesn't go over well in the art community. Weather he admits that or not, he had to have expected it after selling 10 units of the Zen game at $300 a pop. Like I said, take away the cartridge ($25) and see how many Atari collectors would buy the set for $475...I am guessing zero but ad a cartridge and I assure you a few will sell. I guess we will see how high of value the art community holds this package since I am pretty sure 25 units will not sell to Atari collectors. Again, in his defense he never did advertise it for sale here so we are clearly not his main market and I do fully understand now that this game is not marketed to us directly. I don't know, I guess when it comes down to it I really don't care anymore. Even if it was turned in to a regular release I probably wouldn't bother and no I'm not being bitter or salty, just kind of turned off now and overall lost interest I guess. Kind of losing interest in posting about it also since I think I have pretty much made my point and am just starting to repeat things I have already said. Time to move on, Ian will probably be glad to hear that ;)

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Like I said, take away the cartridge ($25) and see how many Atari collectors would buy the set for $475

 

why not turning it around? take 475$ away and ask how much atari collectors would buy the cartridge for 25$?

 

i don't think there would be that much buyers ... and Ian would think the same, i suppose! i clearly called it cartridge and not game, because its content is more art than an exciting game that would glue you to the console for hours. Ian never said "hey guys, i just brought you the most exciting game for all you hardcore gamers". he also didn't oppose to the release of some older ROMs because - not being just a game - it doesn't affect his piece of art in any way. go ahead, download it, play it on your harmony cart or even get hozer to burn you a copy for 10$ if you're out of cash. you'll realise that the game is only a small part of an art piece and hasn't got much relevance on it's own.

 

 

 

----------------(not directed to crazy climber personaly)----------------------

 

ian explained his concept and i totally respect his work, even if i don't have the cash for a set. maybe i wouldn't even buy it if i had the cash. after all, art collections are not about having every single item that exists. it is a personal decision, based on your taste, your understanding and your views of other peoples art, the combination of what you buy, and many more factors.

 

so it is completely useless to try and make a rational/negative comment about his work, just because you think that you have to own every single program that comes out for the 2600 but you can afford this one. there is no need to justify yourself for not buying Ian's set, noone asked you to do so.

 

then you might as well call yourself a douchebag for not overbidding jose on the boxed air raid. oh no, wait, you wouldn't have the money for that either and the air raid box sucks, right? :P

Edited by jahfish
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Like I said, take away the cartridge ($25) and see how many Atari collectors would buy the set for $475

 

why not turning it around? take 475$ away and ask how much atari collectors would buy the cartridge for 25$?

 

i don't think there would be that much buyers ... and Ian would think the same, i suppose! i clearly called it cartridge and not game, because its content is more art than an exciting game that would glue you to the console for hours. Ian never said "hey guys, i just brought you the most exciting game for all you hardcore gamers". he also didn't oppose to the release of some older ROMs because - not being just a game - it doesn't affect his piece of art in any way. go ahead, download it, play it on your harmony cart or even get hozer to burn you a copy for 10$ if you're out of cash. you'll realise that the game is only a small part of an art piece and hasn't got much relevance on it's own.

 

Okay, +1 to that. I never really thought about it that way, due to the obscurity of the game, it probably would not be a great seller on it's own in a non limited edition cartridge and maybe with out the entire package many people would have not liked it if all the extra stuff is required to enjoy it properly. Just seems weird it's available to play on the computer without the extra stuff if that's the case but I really don't know enough about it so I am inclined to believe you. I probably did over react a little and some of my posts may seem a little childish but the sticker shock of $500 for a new 2600 homebrew can just be too much for me too compute I guess, just doesn't seem right no matter how I look at it.

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I think this thread has about worked its course.

 

I've actually really enjoyed reading the different perspectives on this issue in this thread and will be sad when it ends, but I guess not much more can be written on this topic.

 

It did succeed in selling a copy of A Slow Year (the disc version, not the limited edition cart). I ordered it yesterday and soon will be checking out what it's all about and maybe enjoy some relaxing observations. :cool:

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This thread hosted a lively discussion about the viability of Atari games as "art objects," and I'm really grateful to all of you who weighed in with appreciation for my admittedly unusual approach to making Atari games.

 

A number of you were still scratching your heads at the way I had framed and priced the limited edition of the game, and I completely understand that skepticism. I want to follow up now that the limited edition of 25 copies is finally done. I've attached images of the final product.

 

I'm not here to change your mind or to try to sell you art... I just hope you'll take this work for what it is, namely a thing I wanted to make, and did.

 

Thanks to all of you for your support.

 

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post-8324-0-39820500-1308795061_thumb.jpeg post-8324-0-49953800-1308795066_thumb.jpeg post-8324-0-87578900-1308795071_thumb.jpeg post-8324-0-51830100-1308795137_thumb.jpeg

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