As most of us know some old people that have lots of power have now declared videogames as art. What does this mean though? Well to most of use it will mean pretty much nothing. I know that this fact will be more just used to combat people that feel the need to tell me that video games are not art and are in fact a complete waste of time. As for game developers I think it will have more of an effect.
Before videogames were considered art, every time a video game came out that had some kind of controversial topic than the media was all over it like flies on feces. They went out to tell everyone how terrible videogames are and how they have no right to be talking about X subject. My problem with this is that every other form of art has covered all of those X topics that videogames get beat down for. Murder, Rape, Sex, Violence, Sexuality, Race, Culture, Religion, Politics, War, and many more topics have all been covered in movies, books, and even in some extent television shows, but as soon as videogames try it, they get into trouble for it.
Mind you violence has almost been accepted into videogames, but only because the media likes to use it against videogames. Is it really fair that videogames are put into such a negative light, when books get past with anything now, and even sometimes are praised for it? I suppose it is almost a right of passage for videogames, and I think this is a step forward for videogames. Now I think writers for videogame stories will be allowed to get past with more, and be able to dip into 'touchy' subjects that can, if used properly, enhance a story.
I think we are headed towards a point where games like BioShock with the ethical choices of to save or harvest the little sisters, will be accepted because it helped tell the story. It made players make a hard decision that impacted the game further on. I remember that part of the game made me really think my options through, and I wondered if killing this child was worth the benefits I would get right away. BioShock makes players make that ethical choice.
All I can hope is that more game developers and writers will start to push the boundaries of videogames and they add in story elements that are controversial but actually add to the experience, and the story.