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Defining Art: Are Games Art Too?

December 9, 2011

In the game community, there has always been the question of “are video games art”. From what I’ve seen, gamers want games to be art. It gives them a defense against those who criticize games for being childish, stupid, and a waste of time. If a man walks around a museum and then says to someone, I’m appreciating art, no one is going to scoff at him, or say he’s wasting his time. (well, most people won’t) Video games being art would also protect them from censorship and limitations by laws.

Art about a video game, more worthy of amendment protection?

Also, If video games are not art, then what are they? The things people do can be split up into two categories: the things people have to do, or feel obligated to do, and the things that entertain/please people. The second category can be split into two parts, the entertainment media, and other. The entertainment media is largely considered art, and if video games don’t fit into that category, then video games are only on par with masturbation. Can you see why I don’t like it when people say games are not art?

In trying to learn if games are art, the first first question to be asked is, what is art? Ah, the age old question. Everyone seems to have their own definition of what art is, and I am not the exception. I have always thought that what separates us from animals was our greed, and our art. Humans have two basic instincts, survival, and reproduction, which animals have also. If all we did was follow these two instincts, our lives would just be eat, sleep, and sex, like animals.

But we don’t exclude ourselves to just those activities. We socialize, we draw, we build, we buy and enjoy things. We do things that are not necessary towards our survival, or our reproduction. This… is art. Video games sometimes are so enthralling that they lure us away from sex and survival. If that isn’t art, what is?

But of course I can’t say that my definition solidifies games as art, because my definition is so broad, almost anything people do is art. It’s time for… the dictionary!  Time for the Google!


  1. The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture,…: “the art of the Renaissance”
  2. Works produced by such skill and imagination.
Lets use the second one, so that we have something simple to go on. A product produced by skill and imagination. Video games are not easy to make. In order to make a game, one must receive training and gain the skill with which to do it. Not everyone can make a video game. I have never seen a video game that had no imagination. A lot of video games have much more imagination than a movie, book, or painting. And to tack on a bit from the first definition, games are visual. All of the processes that go into making art also go into making video games, and just because someone can enjoy a video game more in depth than a painting, doesn’t mean it’s not art. Personally I feel like some video games are paintings that you can enjoy.
Using a textbook definition, I have proven that video games are art. And people who don’t agree with me are trolls… that’s right FOX News, I’m looking at you!
P.S. If you take a screen shot of a game, it’s like CGI art, except usually better executed. It’s art you can touch!
How is this…
…any better than this?

From → Personal Opinion

  1. agreed. I think a half hour of Fallout is infinitely more artistic than say…duchamp’s genius urinal piece

    • Wow, that literally made me laugh out loud. I loved Fallout 3, Skyrim even more so. A single screen shot is like a beautifully crafted picture, and if a pictures worth 1000 words… Games just keep on talking.

  2. I feel this is among the so much significant information for me. And i am satisfied studying your article. But wanna commentary on few general things, The web site style is wonderful, the articles is in point of fact nice : D. Excellent process, cheers

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