The Art of Games


Hey guys’n’gals! It’s BrowQuirk here, and I’m going to talk about one of the stranger problems in the games industry, and probably the hardest to solve. The question, of course, is whether or not video games are art.

I’d like to take a moment to define art before we go any further into the subject. When one says the word art, what do you think of? Perhaps you think of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, or maybe it’s the Coliseum in Rome, Italy. Maybe you think of a beautiful sonnet written in the times of William Shakespeare, or even Donatello’s child-like statue of David. These are all obviously art forms in most everyone’s mind. However, what is it that makes these figures art? Is it simply because they have been bored into our minds to be so? Or do we make the art what it really is?


According to my art history class this past semester; most people truly believe that Art is simply a means to express one’s feelings. In this sense, we suddenly broaden our beliefs on art to almost anything in the entire world. Famous artist Marcel Duchamp became famous from constantly challenging people’s beliefs on what art really is, as portrayed when he took a urinal and placed it on a stump, naming it: “The Fountain.” Most of his work is completely based on making the audience stare at it in disbelief, wondering how this was considered art.

So, let me ask you this, audience. If a urinal on a stump is considered art because he is expressing his opinion on art itself, why then, are we even thinking about whether video games are art or not? If plays, sonnets, poems, paintings, and sculpture are considered art, why then are video games that contain scripts, poems, literary reference, and pixel art not also considered art as a whole? All of the things that go into video games are considered art, but why is it that when we put them into a final product, that they lose that status?


Some argue that because you interact with a video game, it loses the artistic quality. You do not sit and ponder upon a video game; you play it. I think, as a game developer myself, that this only enhances the artistic quality. The ability to take Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” and make it so that you now hear their voices as they cry in outrage, blaming each other for being the traitor of Jesus Christ. Now you can see them moving, you can see his serene face as he watches all of his disciples howl at each other, but he already knows of his death.

Doesn’t this just bring out everything that you feel when you look at the painting as it is? Why, then, do we not consider them to be one in the same? Let me tell you from my perspective, ladies and gentleman: Games are Art.

Thank you very much for reading, and have a quirky day.