Can Games Be Art?

Artworks come in many different media categories and mediums like moving image, sound, virtual and multimedia to name a few. However, one of the largest controversial debates within the concept of art is ‘can games be considered as an artwork’. The growth of games and the potential it possesses in the near future cannot be something ignored. Games technically can be a medium for art.

“I think it’s a worthwhile question to consider, just because it’s about the future of games,”
   – Tim Schafer

Artworks are generally created to have the sense of connection between the artist and the audience viewing the art. Games are created within the boundaries of 3 distinct voices: the creator, the game, and the player. If the game is considered the medium used, then the creator can, therefore, be the artist using said medium to create a personal experience with the audience.

Technology has expanded the canvas upon which artists are able to paint and tell their stories. As an art form that has only existed in the digital space, video games are truly a collision of art and science. They include many forms of traditional artistic expression—sculpture in the form of 3D modeling, illustration, narrative arcs, and dynamic music—that combine to create something that transcends any one type.
   – Chris Melissinos

 As this topic gets quite controversial, there are many who are against the concept of games being a medium to portray art. As portrayed by Jack Kroll, an art critic who posted an article on Newsweek, argued that “games can be fun and rewarding in many ways, but they can’t transmit the emotional complexity that is the root of art.”

There are a lot of controversies when it comes to this topic and as undeniable as games as a medium can be, some do strive to think otherwise.

 “No one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great poets, filmmakers, novelists, and poets.”
   – Roger Ebert

 It is true that what Roger Ebert speaks of how games aren’t comparable to poets and filmmakers in terms of citations. However, poems, films, and other non-digital artworks have been around for hundreds of years, whilst digital artworks have been out far less. Nevertheless, in those short span of years, digital art has progressed leaps and bounds, whilst traditional artworks have always remained the same.

References (2016). Are Games Art? (Here We Go Again…). [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Oct. 2016]. (2016). Video games can never be art | Roger Ebert’s Journal | Roger Ebert. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Oct. 2016].

Smuts, A. (2005). Are Video Games Art?. 3rd ed. University of Michigan Library: Michigan Publishing.

TEDx Innovations Blog. (2016). Spotlight TEDx Talk: Video games can be serious art. Why don’t we give them more credit?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Oct. 2016]. (2016). It’s Becoming Harder to Deny Video Games ‘Art’ Status. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Oct. 2016]. (2016). Video Games Are the Most Important Art Form in History. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Oct. 2016].


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