Are video games art?

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Art comes from Latin which means technique and ability.

Since 2013, MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art – New York) has had a sector only for games, sharing the space with Picasso and Frida Kahlo for example.

If you want to visit the Museum, you will be able to note the gradual evolution of this market, from Pacman during the 80s to nowadays.

According to Paola Antonelly, one of the directors of the museum, video games are art and they represent the culture and design of these days.

Cristine Paul, chief curator of new media at Whitney Museum of American Art, games are a new culture, however, they can’t be in the specific context of art. “Any game involves graphic design, sculpture or interactivity, although it doesn’t represent that games can be considerate as art.”

It had been scientifically proven that video games are supporting kids to improve their knowledge of languages, history (Assassins Creed franchise is a good example, the game always has a historical narrative, Call of Duty which is going back to WWII amongst others) in addition, we can not forget the educative games created since the beginning of the computing.

Assassins Creed Odyssey

I can share with you a case which happened to me, when I was five years old I learnt many flags and countries’ names in the game International Superstar Soccer.

Another excellent case in point is André Villas-Boas he is a Portuguese football manager, who managed Porto, Barcelona and Olympique de Marseille.

He started thinking about being a coach playing Football Manager. André never was a football player or studied sports in general and today he is one of the highest-paid football managers in the world.

André Villas Boas - The manager gamer
André Villas-Boas – The coach gamer

Many people only consider art as what they are able to touch like a painting or sculpture, however, in ancient times artisans were unnominated as an artist because they would like to monetize their job and during these times art was made by those who did it for love.

Raph Koster author of the book “A theory of fun for game design”, is the time for games to be appraised as art and culture, not only entertainment because conforming to him art is organizing items to stimulate the senses, emotions and the intellect.

The scenarios and narratives shown in video games are intriguing and contagious like cinema and comic books, three kinds of media completely connected, therefore why cinema and graphic novels are art and games are not?

Call of Duty
Call of duty WW II

Games are undoubtedly influencing people more and more whether they are employed in an educational, social, to expose emotions or even more to do our project an up to the minute way to perceive the world.

Video Games are a mix of art and design (you can see here why design and art are different), video games are designed to have a narrative and interaction with the users, but they are also art, as they can create scenarios and characters that could spark discussions. 

Put differently, video games are a creative way that is showing how our generation is expressing itself, the unique difference between conventional art is, that it is not using canvas, brushes, clay and etc. They are developed using zeros and ones.

Wrote by Rafael de Rezende Basso

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