The art of gaming

Video killed the radio star, but television’s reign is coming to a close. One look at the entertainment charts reveals that video games have become the media giant of the 21st century. Gaming devices occupy over half of US households, and analysts predict that the industry—recently valued at $74 billion—will continue to grow. While video games’ popularity is clear, one question remains unanswered: are video games art?

Uncharted 3 Desert Sand Wallpaper Screenshot

Is this a work of art?

Any game can be divided into multiple components: graphics, sound, presentation, and gameplay. The first aspect refers to the game’s visuals. Simply put, graphic designers strive to make the game look nice. Creating visually appealing objects is one of the oldest arts in the book. But what about the others?

All games feature extensive audio components—chairs creak when they move and bushes rustle as characters brush through them. Many games also contain orchestral scores by Hollywood composers. Similar to their movie counterparts, video game soundtracks help construct immersive and believable environments. Sound brings a game’s world to life and allows it to realistically react to the player’s activities. Most everyone would consider music and sound design art forms as well. Gameplay and presentation, however, prove somewhat trickier to unravel.

Pixeljunk Pixel Junk Shooter Wallpaper Screenshot

Personality, sure, but does this game make the cut?

Video games differ from television in that they allow the player to interact with the world. By simply grabbing a controller a person can direct what happens on screen. Called gameplay, this experience is widely considered the most important part of a game. The these interactions determine the ease with which the player can become immersed in the game—the best gameplay draws the player into the game’s world and makes her feel at one with it.

Presentation refers to how the final product holds together. Do the graphics, sound, and gameplay complement each other? Do they follow the same art style and convey the same tone? Every developer’s ultimate goal is to create a cohesive, enjoyable experience. While each part of the game can be looked at separately, presentation describes the success with which they come together.

Super Mario Galaxy Star Yoshi Wallpaper Screenshot

If you’re more famous than Bill Clinton, it’s probably safe to call yourself a work of art.

Art is about creating an experience. Video games push classic art forms to new heights by introducing an interactive element, allowing players to construct the experience for themselves. They give old art new dimensions by leading people through a journey in which they drive the piece’s development and progression. If there’s one aspect of this new media giant we can be sure of, it is that video games are art.

So what do you think? Agree? Can’t believe how wrong this post is? Let me know in the comments section below! As always, please like, share, or reblog this post if you enjoy it. Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook as well. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for new content every Wednesday!

Click here to read last week’s post: Who Are You?


Comment question of the week

Are video games art?


Leave a comment. You know you want to...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s