The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Video Games are an art form.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/10/2011 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,314 times Debate No: 15873
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)




Ok, I think the title is pretty self-explanatory. First round is introductions and accepting the challenge, 2 and 3 are arguments and round 4 is closing case. Both sides have the burden of proof in this case.

the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.


Hello, this is Tiscooler, and as the con I will be arguing that video games are not art.

I accept the rules for each round. I agree with your rules for the burden of proof, but I would like to also state that as the pro, the burden of proof rests mainly on you to prove video games are an art form.

I would also like to provide a definitions pro did not clarify:

present indicative plural and 2nd person singular of be. [1]

"video game"-noun
A type of game existing as and controlled by software, usually run by a video game console or a computer, and played on a video terminal or television screen.

I look forward to having a good debate!


Debate Round No. 1


Ok, just like to say thanks for accepting this debate and let's hope it's good. First of all, I would like to get rid of a preconception a lot of you might have. I am not saying all video games are art, because they aren't. This is naive and is a gross misunderstanding of the debate. This does not however mean good video games cannot and are not art. It's just Call Of Duty isn't art, same way Rebecca Black's "Friday" and the assorted sub-standard Michael Bay films aren't.

First of all, video games are art because they allow the creators and the players to express themselves. My example will be Halo Reach in this case. Most people will think this slightly strange, but, as a whole, Halo Reach is the story of a doomed planet, and the brave men and women who defended it. The campaign tells of Noble Team's tragic and final hours, and even the multiplayer levels show the tombstone of a dying planet on their walls. What's more, with game modes like Invasion, you really get the sense that you are part of a war. And sometimes that's the art in these games. They are an experience, in this case of a future war against a seemingly unstoppable foe and with tragic consequences.

Secondly, video games are adept at handling themes, as they not only show you, in most cases, flawed ideologies, but they immerse you in them and make you feel like you are being affected by them. This is an immersive way of getting people to understand complex philosophies: they are put into a world ruled by a chosen philosophy and shown how it has turned out. My example in this case is the Bioshock series. The first Bioshock is based on objectivism, and it is concisely summarized by Andrew Ryan's famous speech "Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?". Instead of lengthy sermons, it gives you the dystopian world of Rapture, and shows you the terrible consequences of this flawed concept, like charities and religious freedom being banned. Also, in the upcoming Bioshock Infinite, the themes of racial purity and American exceptionalism, in the floating city of Colombia, which was originally a showcase of the best of America, but has become another dystopia.

Thirdly, video games can make emotional experiences and moral dilemmas infinitely more intense by making them interactive. I will use two examples here: LIMBO and the Mass Effect series. LIMBO is a perfect example for this topic, as not only is it a hauntingly beautiful piece of art, but I can also say, without a shadow of a doubt, that it could only ever be done through video games. LIMBO is a game where you play as little boy, who wakes up in a hostile world filled with horrors. LIMBO is a beautiful piece of art, in a big way because it lets you draw your own meaning from it. The only information we are given by Playdead is "Uncertain of his Little Sister's fate, a Boy enters LIMBO". In this world, you encounter many dangers and hazards, and many strange, unexplained encounters, and it leaves you to draw your own conclusion from the events. Mass Effect is also another piece of art only possible through this interactive medium. In the Mass Effect series, you play as Commander Shepard, a soldier who must prepare the galaxy for an invasion from a unknown species who live in dark space, and come out every few thousand years to wipe out advanced civilizations. Mass Effect is a game about conflict. Conflict between species, factions and people, and you are expected to resolve these conflicts so as to repel the Reaper invasion. The thing that makes Mass Effect unique and, quite frankly amazing, is the way in which you interact with the world. You can talk to people in whatever manner you choose, try and persuade people to do what you want and, in it's strongest moments, the game forces you to make terrible choices. For example, in the first Mass Effect, you must decide whether you let a species known as the Rachni, who just attacked you, live, in the hope that under their queen they will turn to your side, or kill them, and make sure they don't kill anyone again. It is a tough decision, and you must make it. In a movie, the hero would make it and you would just think "Oh, I would've done it differently, but I guess that's that". But in Mass Effect, you are forced to decide the fate of the galaxy. Similarly, in Mass Effect 2, if you don't prepare your team sufficiently for the final mission, some of them will die. This was a heart-wrenching experience for me the first time I played it, as I made some bad decisions and a large amount of my team got killed. In a movie, you would feel sad that they died, but in Mass Effect, I felt a personal guilt, as I knew if I prepared properly, they would still be alive. That's what Mass Effect does. It gives you a sci-fi epic, and makes it personal and interactive.

I have listed my main points above, and I look forward to hearing my opponent's arguement. Good luck and remember guys: Keep It Clean.

WARNING: Spoilers below for Halo Reach

Halo: Reach ending:
Bioshock Intro:
Bioshock Infinite Demo:
LIMBO trailer:
Mass Effect Rachni choices:
Mass Effect 2 gameplay:


tiscooler forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Ok, well seeing as tiscooler has forfeited this round, I guess the only thing I can do is wait for his counter argument in the next round. Also, if he is unavailable because of something like a family crisis, I don't want to take advantage of that. Also, I've already made my case and I have nothing to argue against. If anyone has added tiscooler as a friend or knows him personally, please contact him and see if he's still doing this debate. Thanks :)


tiscooler forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Gotta say, kinda disappointed tiscooler gave up on this debate. I have nothing left to say, and unfortunately nothing to debate with.



tiscooler forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by P912 6 years ago
Come on tiscooler, don't just forfeit, give me something to debate with.
Posted by tiscooler 6 years ago
I love your optimism dinokiller. /sarcasm
Posted by dinokiller 6 years ago
Con's gonna lose :O
Posted by neopuff 6 years ago
Although I'm pretty sure I understand the debate - because videogames, the creation of and the games themselves - are a form of art. But the question could be interpreted multiple ways sooyeah.
Posted by rogue 6 years ago
Are you saying that PLAYING video games is an art form, or CREATING them?
Posted by maninorange 6 years ago
Would con have to demonstrate that NO video game is an art form, or that many or most aren't? I wouldn't want to take on that kind of burden.

For example, say that Okami, Blazblue, Tetris, Minesweeper, and Ragdoll avalanche are the only video games in the world. Would con have to demonstrate that NONE of these games are art, or that MOST of them are NON-art?
Posted by tiscooler 6 years ago
I really want to take this debate, If no one claims it within 5 hours I will
Posted by lucasaferr 6 years ago
Just to clarify, what types of video games are going to be discussed? If it's a shooting game then it makes sense to me to not consider it art, but I've played games that are incredibly artistic and could be considered art. I think this debate needs a few more specifics.
Posted by P912 6 years ago
Con will be saying that video games are not an art form like cinema, music or literature. Google "The Arts" for more info.
Posted by Pastafarian 6 years ago
Explain the debate-- i don't get it
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by XStrikeX 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.