Are Video Games Art?


This is a very interesting article written by Aaron Smuts.
In this article Aaron argues that by any major definition of art many modern video games should be considered art. Rather than defining art and defending video games based on a single contentious definition, Aaron offers reasons for thinking that video games can be art according to historical, aesthetic, institutional, representational and expressive theories of art. Overall, the argument is that while many video games probably should not be considered art, there are good reasons to think that some video games should be classified as art, and that the debates concerning the artistic status of chess and sports offer some insights into the status of video games.

Read the whole thing here

Posted by jalonso @ 9/12/2009 20:21  |    15


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sharprm (Level 4 Deputy) @ 9/25/2009 17:43

Makes no sense what are you talking about? Do you mean retrospectively isometric games will be considered art because they broke conventions of perspective? If so it assumes:

1. breaking rules is good

2. the rules weren't broken before

Isometric art can be seen here: Also, if you go to a really tall tower (i did this in shanghai) and look through binoculars, the city looks isometric. You are zooming in on converging lines so much that they appear parallel. So the rules have been broken before. Secondly, it is not really breaking rules but just a special case.


Maybe you could be more specific about which rules were broken and why breaking rules is 'good'. Surely crime is art by this definition?

jalonso (Level 11 Godfather) @ 9/24/2009 18:27

By your theory and arguments, Michealangelo's work would not be considered art because they were sponsored by the corporations of their time (The Church). Most established art have roots in commercialism, corporate backing and group think. This has always been so. In the future video game art WILL be a true artform for one simple aspect that had never been explored before and worked out so universally and is currently always overlooked. Video game art (pixelart) broke the established rules and conventions of perpective. Art!

skeddles (Level 11 Sphinx) @ 9/24/2009 15:58

I just don't want to type it all. I have been arguing on DA non-stop to people trying to convince them that crappy emoticons and crappy pixel art is crappy, and that you should be able to make a post without it being praise just telling the person how awesome they are, especially when they already have thousands of favorites and comments for some small bad piece of art.

But If I were to make my argument, it would probably consisted of: Video Games should be/could be art, but stupid corporate organizations take total control of the industry to force people to make games for money, and the result of that is that games are consumer targets, rather than the dreams and intelligent ideas of people; which I'm positive would result in much better games. If someone has a good idea, they should make money off of it. People shouldn't just get payed to think them up. And I'm sure if someone works on a game that get's famous, they don't see anymore money, just the jerks who organised the whole thing, who in my opinion do not deserve the money; which is another thing I hate, when people get money they don't deserve, or even when they think they deserve money that they don't.

I could probably  write a 5 page essay on this, because It's something I feel really strongly about, but I just don't think its worth the effort. Those are the major points though, and trust me, I have huge explanations and reasons behind each one. I also hate illogical things.


Yes, that's the short version.


jalonso (Level 11 Godfather) @ 9/22/2009 16:23

Jeff Koons hires people to make his art and they are in Museums all over the world.

Walrus (Level 3 Stalker) @ 9/22/2009 10:26

 if something is made in a team it doesn't mean its not art.

like some buildings (which i dont remember their names, but i do remember that there was i museum) are considered art, even though a lot of people  have built it.

sharprm (Level 4 Deputy) @ 9/20/2009 19:08

What about freeware games?

But yeah, read the insomnia article, "are games art?"="are games good?" and "no, cos they are a way to make money and money is bad" is fine.

Are games good? Final fantasy X, the immortal, chaos engine, definately have moments when they are very, very good. There would've been money involved with these projects, but everyone has to eat, and money aint always corrupting. The insomnia guy has an article which argues market conditions (information asymmetry, payment for continual use or once off) are important influences on quality.

jalonso (Level 11 Godfather) @ 9/20/2009 17:45

Send it to me, mkay.

skeddles (Level 11 Sphinx) @ 9/20/2009 13:16

The reason I'd say video games are not art are they are made by teams of people, they are made to sell, and they are made for certain people. Saying they're art is kind of insulting. Granted I didn't read the article because it's too damn long, but that's what I think. Please don't flame me or try to convince me otherwise, because I really don't care.

I have a lot more to say but I don't feel like typing. (To sum it up: I hate money).

sharprm (Level 4 Deputy) @ 9/18/2009 20:20

Great link! lol @ url

JoshF (Level 4 Deputy) @ 9/18/2009 20:08

Another good article:

QuaziGNRLnose (Level 1 Rookie) @ 9/18/2009 18:08

  this guy is going in all the wrong directions with this. videogames are art because of the atmosphere some of them have and the emotions they induce. its the only thing besides life itself wich can make you feel as if you are in another world. they are so much more than just an interactive movie. they place you into a world, and coax you into having your own adventure, due to the position in life the character in the game is in when you begin. of course not all games apply, but you couldnt call a home video art if you classified it as a movie either.

fawful (Level 6 Yonkyu) @ 9/18/2009 13:45

I sort of make video games slightly a bit awhile ago.And tell you me,video games ARE definitely an art.

jamesmorrow07 (Level 1 Jukyu) @ 9/17/2009 22:18

My eyes are sorta bleeding from reading all that text...

I guess it just depends what kind of games are/or what should be (or is) art in other people's opinion.

sharprm (Level 4 Deputy) @ 9/17/2009 20:38

Great, someone with second hand knowledge of computer games pointlessly talking. Can't wait to read it. I'm sure it will change everything. Everything.

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