Video Games Considered Art Essay

1370 words - 6 pages

Video Games Considered Art
Many video games use visuals to mentally immerse gamers into a virtual world filled with seemingly living, breathing people, animals, or cities. According to Michael Samyn and Auriea Harvey, game designers for Tale of Tales, video games increasingly develop into a true medium of artistic expression (Lamb). In just forty years, video games transformed from an abuse of the new computer for entertainment purposes into a sophisticated form of popular art. The development of video games recently produced results that arguably equal other similar, representational arts. Video games share many qualities with other forms of art, but they are also artistically ...view middle of the document...

While not necessarily traditional art, new visual art is created by the ever growing technological advances seen today. Another example, Grand Theft Auto: IV, creates a living, breathing city, named Liberty City:
Liberty City, the setting of Grand Theft Auto: IV, is a high-water mark of aesthetic representation in gaming. Here is a city, rich with detail and character, with living inhabitants, that changes to reflect the time of day and the changing weather, is simmering with economic and ethnic politics, has great architecture, and is everywhere making comments on our real world . . . . (Tavinor 183)
How does a virtual city in a video game represent art? Art is seen everywhere; the architecture, the faded graffiti created by rival gangs, and the interactive characters’ clothing designs. These two video game examples alone prove the ever-growing technological representation of art in video games, whether it is a fantasy world full of colorful, exotic plants or a gritty, realistic setting where crime and graffiti scatters throughout. Video games use visuals as well as use creative media to explore and represent art in gaming.
In using creative media, video games share similarities with traditional art but also differ from it entirely. Art created by video games is in a league of its own. Tom Cargo, the president of the Game Developers Association of Australia said, “No one making games really wants them to be just like films. We look at films we like and try to capture the elements that make those films successful but we’re starting with a different canvas” (Birmingham). The visuals, the soundtrack, level design, and game mechanics come together to form collaborative art. Video games have the capacity for unique forms of representation, engagement of the audience, and even storytelling. In using creative media, videogames enter a territory strictly accessible only to themselves. No television or cinema attempt to recreate this unique form of art because the resources required are simply unavailable. New developments in technology open opportunities for representation and artistic possibility in video games. Technology, for example, allowed video games and animation cinema to fully represent art in a digital way. Not only do video games use creative media to create art they are also legally recognized as art.
Video games should be recognized as art because they are legally considered so. According to Escapist Magazine, “The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) now considers video games eligible for artistic funding, legally recognizing them as an art form” (Funk). The NEA funds artistic projects around the country, which include television, radio, and interactive games (Funk). A game designer can apply for a grant to fund the creation or continuation of a video game in the name of art. “If you’re an artist who wants to make a beautiful sculpture for a public place, for instance, and you don’t want to sell it commercially . . . you can...

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