The discussion of whether or not video games are art is not a new one. It’s been debated on message boards and podcasts by anyone who knows anything about the subject and those who think they do but clearly misunderstand video games as a medium in general. I have read 200 page long threads where the discussion has deteriorated down to a yelling match between a nameless "game developer" and a mindless fanboy. Any forward thinking intelligent discussion by leaders in the game and game journalism industries has been stymied by the Internet masses who declare it "beard-stroking bullshit". These are the reasons games are feared by the public. A gamers it has become our responsibility to explain and justify video games as an art form to the general public who is to busy gobbling up misinformation from Jack Thompson and our friends at Fox News. As a result the video games have yet to gain widespread public acceptance as a medium much less an art form.


The definition of art is almost always discussed and is vital to understanding the question before we begin to answer it. Merriam and Webster claim art is the application of creative skill and imagination, meant to be appreciated for its beauty or emotional power. As soon as you bring emotion into the equation art becomes a personal experience, wherein the contradiction of your opinion is impossible due to its inherent uniqueness. This reasoning suggests that video games are an art form and should be appreciated as such. The interactivity of video games means the user automatically has an emotional investment in the game not as a visual experience or story but as a sort of creator of their own unique experience. This interactivity is what sets video games apart from other art forms. Consequently those who believe video games are not art forms use this difference as the central point of their argument. They claim that since the creator losses a great deal of control when to piece is experienced by the user it is not art. However, it is this same difference that makes video a unique media and perhaps all the more an art form.


As the percent of the population that has grown up with video games increases so does their cultural prominence and importance. Modern children are now first experiencing literary archetypes in video games rather than force-fed books that are associated with schoolwork rather than intrinsic enjoyment. Not only are they seeing them in their minds eye but they interact with them and play as them, making choices for the character. They view the world through the character’s eye and are immersed into the world. This gives new perspective for future generations and shows the vital role video games play in our cultural development and evolution as an art form.