The Renegade Rip

Video games can be artistic

Steven Martin, Photographer

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I was going to start off this article with a definition of the word art, but I figured that would be facetious of me.

You see, the word art means different things to different people. I’m not an art major, but I do consider myself an art critic. I think to some degree we all are.

Are video games art? I think they are. They just don’t have to hang in a museum (although they have) or have their creator lop off an appendage to be considered as such.

Also it doesn’t necessarily have to be synonymous with “good” as there is just as much “bad” art out there.  Art can pretty much be anything.

It’s like the old saying goes, “It’s not the medium, it’s the message.”

All art has to do is elicit a response from the person experiencing it. Why then, is it so difficult to see video games as such?

Maybe it’s because a lot of people still consider video games as a mindless distraction and a time waster.

Like any other book, movie or TV show, video games are an evolving medium.

Unlike the others, video games are still in their relative infancy.

The reason video games are considered art is because they evoke passion, both positive and negative.

How many gamers have thrown down their controllers in disgust after a boss battle you just could not beat or held them up high after completing a difficult part of the game?

Games graphically are also evolving to the near point of photo-realism, but even when games were just crude shapes moving around a screen, they were art because of their ability to mesmerize and evoke discussion.

Modern games such as “Journey or Flower” are visually stunning.

They also contain unconventional game play, so you won’t be jumping on any turtle shells in these games.

In fact, these games are more about the trip and not the destination.

Video games are a complex form of art, although, unlike the great art forms throughout history, it is also an interactive one.

Whether you are staring at a painting or reading a good book, the exchanges you have with it are only one way, whereas the interaction with gaming pretty much begins as soon as you press the start button.

Game programmers are artists in the truest sense of the word.

Not only do they painstakingly have to create something that will appeal to the largest audience possible, but they also offer the gamer a unique experience that differs (either on a small or grand scale) to that of their friends.

In conclusion, video games are not art in spite of other forms of artworks. They should share a place among all art and hold a similar respect.

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Video games can be artistic