Are Video Games Art?

Outselling theater, music, and movies, but still not taken seriously
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser User
Posted Dec 28, 2008 8:14 AM CST
Game designer Will Wright accepts the Gamer God award at the sixth annual Video Game Awards at Sony Picture Studios in Culver City, Calif., earlier this month.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Video games are going gangbusters financially, but they're still generally relegated to "lowbrow" entertainment by the culturati. Some critics, however, are finally giving video games their due and deeming them art. "The best games are already beautiful, and I can see no reason why the look of video games won’t match or surpass that of cinema," notes John Lanchester in the London Review of Books.

What's more, he writes, "The interiority of the novel isn’t there, but the sense of having passed into an imagined world is." But can profit-hungry video game creators evolve beyond the violence and an excess of sequels that keep sales high? "From the aesthetic point of view, a lot turns on whether games offer their users actual creativity, or whether it is just some horrible corporate simulacrum," Lanchester concludes.