No one has ever pinned the precise meaning of “art”. The philosophical debate surrounding it has always been fascinating. Is any form of creative expression art? Is any form of creative communication art? Art has been continually re-defined. The boundaries are limitless and the process of experimentation, cultivating ideas and integrating one’s own personality and creativity is what makes art special.
Over the years, many critics have been vocal about the proposition of video games as an art form. People have raised questions about the legitimacy and the artistic purity of video games. As an admittedly biased lover of video games, in my mind there should be no question as to whethervideo games are a form of art.
Video games combines interactivity with storytelling unlike any other medium. They are the evolution of art. Video games blend science and art. They are made on computer screens with thousands of words of coding which perhaps dissatisfies some people. But they are missing the unique blend of music, cinematography, imagination and storytelling devices that is integrated with it and the spectacular product that follows it.
Storytelling in video games are on par with any other medium. The experience throughout the journey is elevated because we are in control of the characters. We feel in control of the actions and thereby, the consequences hit more deeply. The scope of what video games achieve in their world is huge. The immersion can be so deep that we forget that we are in fact just playing a game.
The strength of video games lies in covering the weakness of other mediums. Ever seen a movie and disliked the ending? Great, we have multiple endings based on the actions you make. Ever read a book and wanted a deeper exploration of the world? Great, we have open world games with free exploration and interacting side characters.
All this is not to say that books and movies are somehow inferior to video games. Flowing through the details in the words of a page of a book can be magical. Movies can tell beautiful stories. But when you broaden your view and see video games for what they actually represent, they stand tall with every artistic medium to have existed.
Shah is a student of Kathmandu University School of Management (BBA 1st semester)