Are Video Games Art?



Since the rise of video games, people have been questioning if video games are art. With beautiful games such as Firewatch or Breath of the Wild, it’s easy to understand why people would consider them to be art. What defines art? This debate is mostly philosophical, so, what are the arguments for video games being art. Video games are art because they have illustrations, narratives, and music. Roger Ebert argues that video games cannot be art, Ebert defines art as, “Art  is the process of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions.” Does that not describe video games?

I think a reason why this debate even exists is because some people don’t respect video games. Video games have a lot of work put into them. Even so, there are people who despise the art of games. There’s so many parts that make up a video game; visuals, music, and story. Wouldn’t these aspects be considered art? 

Take GTA Vice City for example, it builds a world that seems real. Although, some people aren’t fond of GTA’s more graphic elements. From what I’ve seen, the 2020 Vice City Remaster looks beautiful. Whose to say the visuals alone don’t make it art?

The games I’ve already mentioned are beautiful, but The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is a game I wholeheartedly believe to be art. Majora’s Mask is a game about loss, grief, and what it means to be a hero. The game’s story is about player trying to stop the moon from crashing into the world within three days. Majora’s Mask takes place in Clocktown, Termina. As the game progresses and the moon gets closer to crashing into Termina; the people of Clocktown get scared, some deny their fate, while others cower in fear. The player can help the people of Termina with daily tasks or helping the dead find closure. Majora’s Mask has a strange premise, but once players get into the meat of the game they can see why I consider it art.

Whether in story, illustration, or music video games are works of art, and should be considered as such. Players interact with the story which could make it more impactful then other art mediums. Overall, I believe that video games could be the most impactful art form there is.