No one is perfect and one area where I am certainly ‘weak’ is my appreciation of the arts. The arts is a pretty big subject to squish into a single label but I can graduate things into stuff I appreciate that which I don’t.
I am going to junk the whole ‘what is art debate’ because I want to but I am also going to completely contradict myself in a minute and I am fully aware of the contradiction.
So the art that I appreciate is what I consider ‘extremely clever’ art. It is often technically difficult or exists to demonstrate a point. Esher’s optical illusions would fit this description, Jean Tinguely’s mechanical sculptures are another example. When I say appreciate it what I mean is I look at it and think ‘oh that is clever’ and move on. There is no desire to own it or want to create something like it myself or even a desire to have the skills or talent to create something like it myself.
Somethings I think employs art and artists but is not art. The division comes when it is of a purely commercial nature. Cinema is an example. Some films are art and exist for arts sake or the artist was trying to examine the human condition. I accept that is art, been there and didn’t like it, not going back.
Hollywood blockbusting movies are not art but do employ a lot of artists and that is work I can appreciate and that does inspire my games. I am a magpie of ideas and like set ups. I constantly see scenes that I wonder what PCs would do in that situation given that there is no script. I then set about constructing a story that will bring that scene into the game. I am not talking about railroading players or necessarily climatic scenes. Lots of the scenes that appeal are often throw away scenes and if they happen then great but if they don’t it is no loss. Some work well and some certainly don’t. There was a scene in Indian Jones where they were in small mining trucks.
That didn’t work too well as too many failed skill rolls ends up in big crashes. On the other hand the Matrix Lobby Scene was an amazing success. All I needed to do was casually mention the locations of discarded weapons and the players were using Tumble Attack/Evade all over the place.
So as inspiration art, not so much, cinema definitely!