Are Video Games Art?

Video games are art.“Video games use images, actions, and player participation to tell stories and engage their audiences. In the same way as film, animation, and performance, they can be considered a compelling and influential form of narrative art,” claimed the Smithsonian Art Museum. Video games are a form of art because of their storytelling and graphic design.Video games may not be fully accepted as a main form of art, but they deserve to be accepted as one.

The story within a video game impacts the player by connecting with his/her emotions. An example of a well-known story or book that connects with the reader would be The Fault in Our Stars. Its story connects to the reader’s emotions. Video games also help share emotions with the story. Games that let the player pick their own choice like Life is Strange and Telltale’s Walking Dead series allows the player to decide how they want their story to be built. The player can choose the decisions that the character makes, so he/she feel emotionally attached to the game. Because the player can choose how the story is constructed, they feel connected to the characters. Since the player are in their shoes, the player can relate. Video games that allow the player to pick their story allow he or she to empathize with the main character.  

Another reason why video games can be considered art is because of the game’s graphic design. Most of Picasso’s paintings create expression through their design and are considered of the highest quality. Much like Picasso, games like The Last of Us  have a stunning visual design. The world inside the game and the many small details create a realistic setting that the player is immersed in. Video games can also be compared the art pieces. Pac-Man for example can  be considered art because the creator can be considered like an artist and an art piece.  Pablo Picasso’s art pieces are paintings while a video game creator’s art piece would be a video game.  The comparison between the artist and the creator are similar.

CC Licence  Creator: Vincent Van Dam Title:Pac Man Via Flickr

CC Licence Vincent Van Dam, “Pac Man” via Flickr

Even though people say that video games are only entertainment, many have a deeper meaning conveyed in them. Many think that video games can only be entertainment. Many also think that video games are just playgrounds with interaction. However, Journey for example makes the player think about the meaning of life. In the game Journey the player starts knowing nothing about the main character. As the game progresses the player slowly learns more about the protagonist. The player then reaches the brink of death while dying on his terms. However, along the way he/she experience beautiful sights. The character accepts their death because they have figured out their definition of the meaning of life. An example of someone else’s  meaning of life might be to explore the world. Many other games like Journey have a deeper meaning beyond entertainment.

“Video games are meaningful – not just as sociological or economic or cultural evidence, but in their own right, as cultural expressions worthy of scholarly attention.” said Steven E. Jones, author of The Meaning of Video Games.Video games can be considered art because of how compelling and influential they are. They successfully convey emotion through a story and present themselves in a graphically artistic manner. Video games might not be considered by all to be art, but in the future they can be accepted alongside other famous pieces.

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