This is a debate that has been raging for some time. Does the act of creation involved in making video games instantly make them art? Or is something higher needed for them to reach that level of accreditation? It’s not always easy to find straightforward answers to questions like those, but it’s certainly worth looking into them.
Here are some of the key points.
The Role of the Artist is Now Different
One of the major questions that get asked about video games being art is where the artist is. If there is no one artist who controls the meaning and interpretation of a game, can it really be considered a work of art? One way to look at it is the role of the artist changing. Rather than being in control of everything, the artists that make video games now have to give scope to end users who will be interacting with the games. You could argue that interpretation and personal engagement has always been part of art and how it’s received, though.
Some Games Fulfill a Particular Function and Can’t Really be Called Art
However, there are some games out there that only exist to fulfill very specific functions. These games are not necessarily going to be considered art, and they don’t aspire to those heights either. For example, simple apps or live casino games usually satisfy a particular need. And although a lot of people have fun with them, they’re not the kinds of games that involve much in the way of artistic expression. So, there are clearly different types of games with different purposes and functions.
Storytelling Potential is Improving
Of course, art doesn’t have to be about telling stories. But many of the great examples of art through the ages have aimed and succeeded in telling stories that resonate and say something about humanity. If you look at the best games of recent years, it becomes clear that storytelling is definitely improving in the video game industry. Titles like The Last of Us have been lauded for the fantastic storytelling aspects they boast, and the richness of their characters. It’s an aspect of gaming that we hope to see continual improvement in.
A Great Amount of Creative Work Goes Into the Process
Creative work is an important part of developing games. It’s not all about typing code. It’s definitely a creative profession, and the people who design new games have to have imagination and inventiveness in them as they work. This is one of the strongest arguments for viewing video games as an artistic discipline. There are many different styles and genres of games, but they all involve creating something out of nothing. And in some cases, that level of creation is very impressive indeed. Isn’t creativity one of the most important aspects of art?
It’s clear that creating video games is a form of art, but it’s very different from the other conceptions of art we have. But it’s one of the most popular and important forms of our age.