Are Video Games Art?

Are video games art? In my opinion: Yes and no.

I consider the stories that video games tell to be art.

But then there is the fact that video games, being games, are meant to be played.

Is watching a movie art?

Is painting a picture art?

Is playing a video game art?

Movies are art.

Paintings are art.

My point being: I don’t think the question at the center of all of this is really “Are video games art?” The question is “Is playing a video game art?”

To put the question another way: There is an art to playing video games, just as there is an art to painting or making a movie. But is the act of making art, or experiencing art, art itself?

I would say “No.”

Here’s why: Art, I believe, is the finished product. When a painter can step back from their work and finally say “It’s done,” the painting no longer becomes something to be completed – a task – but its own, for lack of a better word, entity.

That entity is what I consider art.

And that’s how I feel about video games. It is not playing and beating a video game that makes it art: What makes a video game art is when, upon beating the game, you look back on the story it told, how it was told, and how it affected you.


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