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Jonathan Lawely
Mrs. DeBock
English 4
4 March 2015
The Art of Video Games
Video games are fun to play but many question if they should be considered art. Video
games can be critically analyzed like any other form of traditional art. There is a massive
industry and culture that surrounds games. Most of all video games are an artistic expression that
is unlike any other and have the ability elicit certain emotions in the player. Video games provide
a special experience for the recipient just like any other kind of high and should treated as such.
For the first time in history video games are being inducted into MoMA. Of these
fourteen lucky games a few to name were: Pac-Man, Katarami Damacy, Dwarf fortress and
Portal.(Antonelli,1) This shined a light on video games that most critics were unable to ignore.
Video games were able to be tested objectively in four different areas: behavior, aesthetics, time
and space. Behavior in video games are the scenarios, rules, stimuli, incentive and narratives
envisioned by the designers that are used to evoke specific behaviors in the player. Aesthetics can
be considered the visual intention but as with most other mediums there is a formal elegance that
manifests its self differently according to the technology available. Space in a game is important
because video games have an idiosyncratic ability to defy spatial logic and traditional gravity.
lastly there is time spent in the game, the gaming experience can be as short as 5 minutes as with,
passage, or last forever like with animal crossing.(Paola,1) These 4 aspects come together to

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make a game but the fact that they can be assessed separately shows the depth that video games
can have.
The video game industry is a booming one, only rivaled by industries such as movies and
television. The video game industry brought in $14.8 billion dollars of revenue in 2012 in the
U.S., 21% higher than that of in 2011(Long, 1).while the industry continues to grow the teams
that are being used to make games are getting smaller. There has recently an influx of talented
coders in the field so, production companies gained the ability to only choose the best of the best
(Vik,1).The ability to program used to be a rare quality but now programmers are finding
competition for the first time. While many programmers are fighting to be a part of big
production teams there are a dedicated few that decide to go into what is known as the indie
scene. People that decide to go the indie route often use crowd funding sources like Kickstarter
to fund a project and when completed will offer there games for pennies on the dollar. The video
game industry is flourishing on both a large and small scale and there are plenty of programmers
to fuel this proverbial flame.
Video games are a completely unique artistic form, conveying emotions and ideas that
other mediums can only dream of. Video games are one of the most immersive mediums of them
all. Melissinos, a game developer, said that Video games are the only form of artistic expression
that allows the authoritative voice of the author to stay true while allowing the observer to
explore and experiment. In books and movie everything is laid out there is nothing to discover
all one can do is observe. There is one indie lo-fi game, Minecraft was a breakaway success. The
reason for this is in some way due to the fact that the game provides a safe, unsupervised,
unstructured place for kids to play. Play that kids might otherwise be deprived of. On the other
side of the spectrum there is an aesthetically glorious game called Flower. In this game one can

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play as a flower pedal floating on the wind through endless green fields. This is a concept that
can get old really fast in mediums like movies and especially in books. According to Tucker,
Jenova Chen, the games designer, said I tried to photograph the scene with his cellphone, and
then capture it on video. Then thought to myself, I can smell the grass. I can feel the wind and I
can hear the sound the grass waving. You just cant capture that with video. After Chens sudden
realization he began the long arduous task of coding 200,000 blades of three dimensional grass.
A game developer can create an entirely unique and immersive world that has few things
hindering them from conveying the exact feeling they want.
Video games should be considered an art form because they provide a different form of
storytelling and show the beauty that code can hold. A Critic can be severely examined as a
creative work just like any other art form. Not only that but, there is also a large prosperous
industry that is associated with the field of video games. Beyond both those things video games
are completely different artistic expressions from any other we have to speak of today. Video
games came from humble beginnings as dots on a screen to the photo realistic masterpieces we
have today and the fact remains that fan or not one can find the beauty in games, if they just take
the time to look.

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Works14 Cited
Antonelli, Paola. "VIDEO GAMES: 14 IN THE COLLECTION, FOR STARTERS." InsideOut.
MoMa, 29
Nov.
2012. Web. 17 Feb. 2015.
Long, Vik. "Here's What the Future of Video Game Development Looks like." VentureBeat. 20
June 2013.
Web. 18 Feb. 2015.
Tucker, Abigail. "The Art of Video Games." Smithsonian. 1 Mar. 2012. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.