Video Games are Art (With a Capital ‘A’)

I have contended since the days of the SNES that video games ARE art if only because the narratives in those games were just as capable (if not MORE) as many other things called ‘art’ to elicit an emotional response.

The classic counter-argument is to bring up a simple game (maybe Tetris) or an ultra-violent game (most arguers would probably point to Doom, regardless of how out-dated that it) and compare it to some great classical piece of art like the Pieta or the Sistine Chapel or (Lovely, lovely, Ludwig van) Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. “Are you saying both of these things are equally to be considered ‘Art?’ (CAPITAL A)

Of course they should… Just not to the same degree. Video games are Art. Just like painting, sculpture, film, music, dance and theatre are Art. And, like all of those things, the *vast* majority is pretty much crap.

However, Art, to me is about creating an emotional response in the viewer. It is the strength of that emotional response that validates a work of art.

Are you a gamer? Did you weep when Aeris died? Did you experience joy the first time you rolled a Katamari? Do you find that you want to live in a place like Azeroth or in space on the Citadel because these place are just so beautifully designed? They created that response. They MUST be Art!

Have you looked at a painting or watched a film and felt an emotion stir inside you? Have you been swept away to another place by just a few notes? Those things must also be art?

Is one emotion more valid than the other? Is it up to us to pass that judgement, or can we all just call it Art and rejoice?


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