Historically video games have been considered a novelty or technical subject, but in recent year given the increase in technology video games have been able to show that they are more. While not a traditional art form, video games do have an artistic basis. Video games are increasingly becoming more story and visually based. With these increased artistic elements it is increasingly becoming harder to deny that video games are art, but maybe they are not the art defined by a traditional definition. Critics state that that video games do not have the artistic values that art has but perhaps there needs to be a new definition of what art is to include video games.
Art can be divide in to two different categories, “literacy arts,” art forms that attempt to tell a story, and “fine arts,” traditional works, sculptures, and paintings, as well music and dance. Video games, along with film, are an example of a literacy art form. Video games are increasingly becoming literacy art by telling stories that are equal if not better than those found in most movies. Not just mediocre stories to have them in the games, but compelling stories that drive the player to push forward. Bioshock, a 2007 release, is an example of this increasing importance of stories in video games. Influenced by philosophy and the works of Ayn Rand, the creator where able to create a cautionary tale of man’s individualism and genetic tweaking (VerBruggen).
Art has an emotional effect on its viewers, too; it suggests new ideas and criticizes the current. Video games serenely do this, video games have the capability to tell a dramatic story, and have done so in games like, Mass Effect, Mirror’s Edge, and The Last of Us. Each of these games involve a story composed of remarkable voice acting and animations pulling the viewer into the world, similar to how an award winning actor can make or break a scene. Not all video games, however, choose to focus on the drama, some choose to create an utterly ridiculous world, Saints Row, and some create horrifyingly traumatizing environments, Dead Space. Each of these games appeal in some way to their audience’s emotions, a characteristic of art.
Saints Row, a game some would argue immature do to its use of juvenile humor and phallic weapon choices, is in fact a great example of video games maturing as an art form. As seen throughout the history of movies, there is a pattern of genre creation and criticism of the genre through spoofs and satirical works. Saints Row is an example of this development in video games, criticizing the gangster crime genre made notorious by Grand Theft Auto. This development in the genre is an example of a genre referring back to itself and poking holes in some of its conventions, a key element of a maturing medium.
Traditionally art has been produced by a single artist, a major criticism of the notion that video games, a collaborative effort of a team, could be considered an art form. This criticism is limited to...