Art-"The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form." What does this definition include? An easy and perhaps a classic answer includes: books, movies, pictures, dances, and plays. But how about video games? Does not this object itself express the human creative skill or imagination of the programmers just as a "The Creation of Adam" represents Michael Angelo's imagination through his kill of painting. In all reality, video games are just the modern piece of art, misunderstood at this time.
Art is just some form of aesthetically formed presentation intended to elicit some degree of emotional or psychological transcendence. There's no real logical reason games WOULDN'T fit the mold save for the fact that they happen to be wholly modern. If a book telling a story can be considered art, then any form of storytelling can be considered the same. Are ALL games art? No, same as there's disposable pop music floating around there are disposable games, but that doesn't really take away from the value of the great works that transcend genre. The fact that Twilight exists doesn't negate the fact that No Exit or Bram Stoker's Dracula does too.
Art is a way of expressing yourself, telling a story, or both. Video Games can do both oh those. Hironobu Sakaguchi of Square Enix made Final Fantasy. Sakaguchi thought it'd be his final work in the video game industry, so it was his final fantasy. At the time, he was going through some rough situations, so his depression leaked into the game. Heavy Rain by Quantic Dream tells of a father doing anything to get his son back.
I believe video games do just that. Just like literature, music, and theatre, video games have at one time or another, caused a stir in the main stream media. For example, when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released, the media went to town about the infamous "airport shooting scene" within the game. Analogous to when Beatles member, John Lennon, claimed that The Beatles were "more popular than Jesus" and the media attention that followed, CoD:MW2 caused our society to question itself. Anything created by someone that can trigger this kind of response in an individual or group of people is art in my book.
A lot of time has passed since the first video games came out and wow how's things have changed. Not only have we realised fully 3d characters but their becoming more and more life like as the years go on with new changes in facial movement software, physics engines and animation they are really living up to their full potential as a medium. Like anything worth doing video games are a labour of love and no where more so then in the indie market where small groups of developers are finding new ways to express and narrate their games to the audience and bring about changes in game play. For this reason I consider them an art form
Video games are used for relaxation. It isn't like someone would create a game to admire how beautiful it is. It created to play. Video games can be a good education, but not a form of art. Art is something totally different. Art belongs in a museum, video games do not belong there.
Yes, Video games are a form of art, they are applied graphics, commercial art. Not Fine Art, Art with a capital A. The average gamer could care less about the game unless the graphics are beautiful, the music is epic and the the story is compelling. A lot of Big name games have this down to a formula. Small indie companies can create really well done creative games as well. However a single individual can create something that has self expression, a game of no boundaries, a world through their own eyes. Yet have you ever heard anyone citing a game created by an individual for being the reason games are Art? No. In doing this they become bias like the bourgeoisie that only liked realistic paintings and called impressionism the work of beasts.
That is where the idea that games as Art fails; it leaves no room for the individual to improve this so called "work of Art". I don't blame the companies, they are putting out millions and having people with crazy futuristic ideas implemented in their game can be risky. Never once thinking that maybe a person or company needs to make bad choices to truly create something Artistic that transcends the superficial. Majority of gamers want retinal art, that is where their whole argument lies too. They love the hyper realism and also anything that looks beautiful and captivating. Anything that falls short of impressing them visually, something done by an amateur they could care less for. In Fine Art we value Artwork that has a childlike innocence, that's why sometimes children paintings are mistaken to be done by real Artists. In the end Video games are there to drive sales. So the producer will tell the workers what sells and what does not, regulating, instead of giving people full control over their creativity. Like Marcel Duchamp once said that he cares not about the word Art, but what he cares about is the Artist. Gamers can never look pass the fact they want something professionally created that is geared towards their expectations. As we know the Fine Art world does not work this way, we except everyone for who they are, the good, bad, and ugly. We value individualism and until the gaming community can get over the fact they are only enjoy high retail games and look at them as "Art". Never paying attention to the individual beautifully crafting an RPG maker game his moms basement, they will never understand the true meaning of Art in games. In a way Video games are the digital Con-Artist, they like to mimic Art, they say their intentions are not to create a Fine work of Art. Only using Art as a medium to reach their destination. Still people are confused because sometimes even the Con-Artist can appear more real than the actual thing it is imitating.