“Video games can never be art.”
Roger Ebert’s famous proclamation drew a lot of rebuttals, some contentious, some thoughtful. Whatever you think of it, Ebert’s statement exemplifies a common attitude–video games are low culture. Yet anytime you turn to the arts section of a major periodical, you’re likely find someone writing about video games. For an example, click on the link below leading to an article in the New York Times.
Articles like the one above tend to implicitly or explicitly espouse the belief that video games are beginning to mature as a medium, that someday–possibly–video games will hold the same status as traditional art forms such as literature and film.
What’s at stake when we argue over the potential of video games to be art? If we decide to call video games art, does it have any personal meaning to the gamer? What does it show about a society that regards video games as art? What does it show if a society doesn’t do so?
These aren’t rhetorical questions. I’m hoping for some responses.