Sunday, June 03, 2007


Are Video Games Art?

No. No they aren't.

I've always thought of art as something lasting, something persistant, something timeless.

Video games are not timeless. They require a game system in order to experience them, but game systems come and go. When a more powerful system comes out, the less powerful systems are crumpled up and discarded, and all of the games written for them go out as well. Older games can sometimes see rerelease on newer platforms, but the game community is hardly ever grateful to see it happen. Try to release an older game in its original format for half the price of the original (such as with the Classic NES series), and you'll see a backlash against the company who tried to "cash in" on a "lazy port".

Art is something that should be treasured, but who treasures their games anymore? Games get played once, then returned for store credit. We go through them like toilet paper. It's insanity. Hundreds of hours are put into creating fully-realized three-dimensional interactive worlds, and they're ours to experience at fifty bucks a pop. And then, every month, we discard what we had in favor of something new.

Of course, games can have artistic elements to them. They can tell a story that reveals something about reality that the creators want to show the audience. They can merely be aesthetically pleasing. With their interactive nature, they get us involved in the dialogue much more intimately than other story-driven media ever could.

The question is, who is there to appreciate it? Can something truly be considered art when the audience treats it like a disposable commodity?


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?