Can Video Games Be Considered Art?


This past weekend, the internets went on a huge nerd debate that is still going & now the news is showing up in a lot of places as it is gaining attention. The debate started  with the famed movie critic, Roger Ebert, who has stated this before, is that video games will never be considered art & believes that when video game will be considered art, it will be long before any of us can experience it as art. The reason why Ebert decided to talk about this is because someone sent him a video clip of Kellee Santiago, video game designer & producer, speaking on how video game is art. In his blog, he goes to explain why he thinks Santiago is wrong, & he does it well and explain his reasons why & is worth the read. (More after the jump)

Now, everyone has their own definition of art. Some people consider nudity art, some people consider poop as art, & some people consider nature as art. Ebert is entitled to his own opinion of what he views as art, but to say never, is a naive thing to say & that may not be the only thing that caused gamers online upset. Ebert went on to say why he doesn’t think games like Braid & Flower, which are favorites among the game community, are not art & that is probably what got some gamers to go to the point of nerd rage. If you don’t know what those game are, I shall explain. Braid takes the Mario gameplay mechanics but adds puzzle elements to the game, which mainly do with time. You can freeze time, go forward, or backwards in order to complete a puzzle to gain a puzzle piece.  Flower is a game where you play as the wind, & you pick up flower petals and just breeze through a beautiful landscape where each flower has their own “story” to tell. The game is a relaxing (minus the electricity level) & unique experience. It’s those game play & experience that some gamers consider as “art.”

He also goes on to say how as long as games have some sort of reach a goal mechanic, it can never be art. But isn’t a goal of a movie suppose to get your interest at the beginning & have it pay off by giving you a wonderful/satisfying story? There has been many response like that toward Ebert, while other game journalists decided to stay away because when it comes down to it, it is just one man’s opinion. Why should it matter if someone like Ebert doesn’t consider video games as art? Sure, he is a known movie critic & maybe his readers will agree with him, but does him saying games is not art affect your views or the way you play games? No it doesn’t. If one thing has been shown through out this whole thing, it’s that Roger Ebert knows how to work the internet and get the clicks.

What do ya’ll think? You think video games can be considered as art? Or are ya with Ebert, and saying that video games will never be art. Comment below & tell us your thoughts.

Source: Ebert Blog, urlesque

Category: Videogames

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