Last week I posted on the topic of official art and unofficial art. This week I am covering what I believe to be one of the most all-encompassing and also the most overlooked forms of art in the world today : videogames. I know many of you are already cringing at the thought of the stereotypical male giving up all his free time in pursuit of something you’ve vaguely heard referred to as a “halo” or maybe even visions of a more rotund figure spending the next 48 hours of his life hyped up on Cheeto’s and Mountain Dew partaking in a bit of Everquest and reaching for his next mythical piece of elfin armor – but hear me out. Last year the videogame industry surpassed the amount of money amassed by the movie industry – like it or not, videogames are here to stay. Many pass videogames off as merely the latest form of entertainment, but are they more?
The average videogame these days requires not only people to code the game, but people to write a story, direct cinematics, create art to be used as textures, design spaces (levels), and a bevy of other jobs. In our modern world we consider writing, painting, film, composing, etc., to all be forms of art – so why not videogames? As I discussed last week perhaps it is that videogames are still deemed “unofficial” art. Perhaps videogames were seen as strictly an entertainment-based industry right off the bat and have not been able to make people consider otherwise. The majority of non-gamers I come across still see videogames as the original Super Mario Brothers or the “Grand Theft Auto everyone always plays”.
Videogames not only bring many artistic disciplines together, it also involves the viewer in a way that is impossible with other art forms – inviting them to take part in a story or even create art on their own. They are also an amazing way of being able to express ideas and emotions.
For example, game series like the Legend of Zelda and Pikmin are stem from the creator’s childhood experiences and imaginations. The Myst series not only mentally challenges players, but has also been a front runner in some of the most artistically impressive and imaginative game environments created. Game series like Metal Gear Solid may appear to be a typical
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons we aren’t able to enter the
As we even recently learned in class, it is sometimes many years before a certain art form is truly seen as a work of art and accepted as such. We’ve seen more and more forms of art accepted over the years – we now cover graffiti in our art classes and colleges are offering classes on comic books as both art and literature. Could it be that we’re currently experiencing the eve of the next great art movement?