I’m a very big fan of Roger Ebert. I admire his writing style, and I really enjoy reading his movie reviews which are humorous yet analytical at the same time. However, I couldn’t help but disagree when he claimed that video games do not count as art.
I would define art as any form of self-expression. Yes, it is an extremely broad definition, but even what you would call “traditional” art serves the purpose of representing the thoughts/emotions of the artist. Many different forms of expression have now become accepted to be art such as tattoo and grafitti art.
Consider the video game simply called Flower. It is a simple game in which you pollinate every flower possible, and was most likely made to purely showcase the beautiful graphics. The fields, sky, and individual flowers are exquisitely designed, and as you float through the game, it’s difficult not to appreciate the colors and clarity of the picture.
However, we are all aware that most of today’s video games do not feature fields of flowers, but instead blood, gore, and scenes of war. It’s easy to think of art as only what is beautiful and easy to look at. Art is an umbrella term for not only what is pretty and inspiring, but also pieces that are gritty, dark, and emotional. Video games can fit into both of these categories. The creativity and innovation that is supplied by game designers qualifies video games as a true art form.