Why (and how) games are art


1 Like

The game that really taught me that the medium could be art was probably Chrono Trigger.

To this day, it moves and inspires me not only to play it, but also to listen to the music, to look at visuals from it, or even just to think about the characters and story. The experience of playing that game will never leave me, and my life is immensely better for it.


First one I think of too. Grim Fandango & Myst also come to mind for me. Then there are non-narrative games like Tempest where the combination of visuals and reflexes you develop take you to a very different space in a way that few installation art pieces are able to.

1 Like

Just spitballing here, but I wonder–



(And: if football, then curling?)

I agree that video games can be art, but I think that the reason why so many people have trouble deciding what is and isn’t art is because everyone seems to have a definition of what art is. The sky in Halo Reach is as stunning to me as a stroll around the Turner gallery in the Tate, just because I can with technology move into the painting and shoot things in the face shouldn’t discount its art status. It’s easier to make the games-are-art argument if you mention visually unusual, perhaps painted looking titles such as Journey or Child of Eden that any single screen shot could be framed and left on a wall, but I personally think items such as the facility level on Goldeneye are certainly art, not just because every surface has been painted and every shape sculpted, but it’s a non existant diorama that allows you to forge new memories, the thrill of seeing through the eyes of a puppet as you kill your friend’s puppet only mostly knowing that it isn’t real (like an interactive exp in the Tate Modern or something). There is a difference between a work of art and a work of craft, but I reckon it’s a fine line. The beauty of a perfectly crafted engine or tool or map could bring a tear to the right person’s eye just as a scuplture of a naked person could. There’s the art of war, the art of dance, flower arranging, the art of abusing legal loopholes, the art of surgery. I would surely call these arts and even though I find much actual-arty art that sits in galleries-art unappealing and stupid, I don’t say “that’s not art!” like someone might say “that’s not a knife!” but rather “that’s art that I don’t care for.”
I therefore challenge those that say “vidya games in’t art!” to rethink what could be considered art, then realise that no one will ever really agree on this and although discussion can be terrific fun and mind broadening none of it matters and in 5 billion years we won’t be able to cos the sun will have gone off.


Everything’s art.


How long has The Ghost of Roger Ebert been trolling Cory’s Q and A sessions? I thought the “Are games art?” discussion ended when he died.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.