Are Video Games an Art Form?

There have been many arguments made for both sides, and honestly, I struggle to decide which side I am on. Many articles have made very intriguing points for why video games should and should not be considered art. Initially, I was sold that video games are indeed art. During Kellee Santiago’s talk Are Video Games Art, the game innovator argues art is “the process of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions”. Based off of this definition, it is hard to argue that games are not an art form. Producers make games with creativity and design, and with the ultimate goal of appealing to certain emotions. Therefore, video games must be art, right?

I was in firm belief of this, until after reading Roger Ebert’s article, Video Games can Never be Art. He acknowledges that video games can indeed be considered art going off of the definition of art. However, he believes that if video games satisfy this definition, then so do many other creations. For example, he argues that a cathedral is the work of many, yet is not generally considered art. He also makes the point that games can both be played and won, something art does not have to offer.

While I want to consider video games as an art form, I cannot fully convince myself that they are. Sure, they appeal to specific sensations and emotions, but they do much more than that. They are interactive and provide the player with goals and objectives. They offer everything, and more, that art forms have to offer. In the end, I find myself believing that video games are not art, but rather, a more complex form of art, as the two share some similarities, however, video games have much more to offer.

One thought on “Are Video Games an Art Form?

  1. So, it seems like you’re saying that video games are not art, because they are so much more than art. It might be more interesting if you clarified what video games offer that “art” does not. I think that would help define what “art” is in this case. Why does the existence of goals and objectives disqualify something as art? Why aren’t cathedrals art? I’d argue that they are, and that video games are art as well.


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