Are Video Games Art?

Whether video games are an art form or not is something people have been debating about for too long, and frankly, I believe the answer is staring us right in the face.

Whether video games are an art form or not is something people have been debating about for too long, and frankly, I believe the answer is staring us right in the face.
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Are video games art? It’s a question that’s been tossed around in a big ol’ salad bowl for quite some time now. Often, it is those that have not played games that look down on it as a medium. Uninformed adults who see popular franchises such as Call of Duty will immediately jump to the conclusion that games are meant to make the player a killing machine. As the violent behaviors in the games are present, it is purely your choice to play or even acknowledge them. But isn’t that the same with any other industry? Nobody’s forcing you to play Call of Duty, and nobody’s pushing your head towards a television screen that’s playing Breaking Bad (which wouldn’t be so bad, actually). 

When we think about what makes up video games and films, there isn’t too much diversity between the two. On the one end with games, we have gameplay, an interaction element. And on the other we have movies, something you pay for to watch – but still engage in. In both industries, there is writing, drawing, and music – three strong art forms. Let’s face it: this isn’t rocket science. It boggles my mind as to how this controversy became so large-bottomed, when the answer is so clear. Is writing no longer art when it’s put into a video game or film? It’s unfortunate to thinkt that popular franchises such as Call of Duty promote a war setting that drives non-gamers away. As someone who has been greatly inspired by video games, it’s frustrating to think that games are seen to give “a thrill to kill.” I mean, for crying out loud, Grand Theft Auto V was blamed for a shooting when it hadn’t even released yet

In the long run, I strongly believe that any video game that includes an element such as writing (when it comes to a storyline), drawing (when it comes to concept art), and music (to give you the feels) should be considered art. Whether the game is good or not is up to you, just like with books and movies. I know there are many out there who are hard-shelled and won’t even take my words into consideration, but if I changed one mind I’m happy. After all, what would the world be if not for differing opinions? 

About the author

Mike Acciarino

16-year-old self-published author, reader, gamer, film junkie, music enthusiast, and coffee addict. Link to a short film I made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqjQr8N6bS8