Co-Optimus - Community Blog - Talking Points: Games as art

Talking Points: Games as art

This topic has been discussed many times before, but I think it's worth talking about again.  Some of you may remember an article Roger Ebert wrote a few years ago about how he thought video games can't be art (although he later regretted writing it).  I disagree with his opinion, but he does raise some valid points.  Certainly not all games are what most people would consider art, but by that same reasoning there are many movies/songs/books/other forms of entertainment that many would not consider to be art.  Obviously the real issue is that there is no clear defintion of art.  I don't have an answer to that question, if there even is an answer.  Rather I think the correct question to ask is "do games need to be considered art"?  Does the fact that games aren't considered art by some make video games somehow less legitimate or more immature than other forms of "art"?  A large part of the answer to that question is a matter of pride among gamers.  We hold games in high regard and when someone says they aren't art, in some way it can be construed as a personal offense, even if that isn't the intention.  But should it really matter?  Do games need to be held to the same standards as things like movies or should they be viewed as something else and judged on different terms?  I'm not suggesting that games shouldn't be considered art (in fact I think some are) or that classifying games as art means they're not fun (I'd go into this more but Extra Credits has a video that explains this better than I ever will.  Seriously, go watch it.  Watch all of them).  Basically, what we should be doing is not striving to make games equal to art, we should strive to make games BETTER than art.  Something that goes beyond the boundaries and labels that have been assigned to them so far.  Some games are already making strides in this direction and I can only hope they'll continue to do so in the future.

Next talking point: Story in games