Video Games as Art

Do you consider video games to be art? Despite what Roger Ebert says, the Smithsonian seems to think they are!

The Smithsonian American Art Museum will run an exhibit called The Art of Video Games starting in March of next year. They’re currently accepting votes (you can vote here) for the games that will be featured to illustrate the 40-year evolution of the medium, including some that are being played in this class right now!

Do you consider video games to be an art form?

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bhattach
    Feb 15, 2011 @ 05:27:50

    This seems to raise the question: If video games are art, then who is the artist? The player, or the game designer? In the case of most games, the artistry is usually associated with the players of the game — one talks about a Pélé, or a Diego Maradona, as artists of soccer, or of Muhammad Ali as an artist of the boxing ring. In the case of video games, though, the artistry will have to be associated with the game designers(s), which seems to make video games quite different from other games-as-art.


  2. jrubel
    Feb 15, 2011 @ 20:58:09

    I think the debate of whether games are a form of art or not is very interesting. In a art history class, I learned about a similar debate that was started in the early to late 20th century with the art objects known as ready-made by artist Marcel Duchamp and even photography. I think the main problem is in the difficulty of defining art. People’s opinions of what is considered art are challenged when a new technique or medium arises.

    In regards to video games, I believe it is a form of art. First, it contains self-expression, a commonly accepted characteristic of the fine arts. Art also has the potential and ability to change the way we look at the world, which video games definitely do. What makes videogames unique from other mediums of expression is its interactivity. Games enthusiastically allow players to become a part of the expression in contrast to traditional forms of art that are viewed statically.


  3. barryfishman
    Feb 15, 2011 @ 22:18:05

    I find the “who is the artist” question to be an intriguing one. What would a constructivist say about this issue?


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