Are games art?

This is the 1st result for art on google search.
So much thought went into this image!

This little one has been doing the rounds again the last few months, so I thought I’d give my agoners take on it:

Art imitates Life.

Life is a Game.

Games > Art.

6 thoughts on “Are games art?

  1. Great comment here:
    “The question “Can games be art?” can be re-written as “Can X equal Y?” where X is something no one can define (games), and where Y is something that we have so far failed to agree on HOW to define (art). ”

    And yep, I’m just a nonsense spouter. As this ‘article’ was firmly tongue-in-cheek and I just don’t care for the question, I’m too busy having fun playing games.

    This article also summed it up well:

    “Well, if chess isn’t art and Death at a Funeral is (two thumbs-up), then I’ll have more of whatever chess is, please.”


  2. They’re media. I’m trying to think of a form of media that can’t also be a medium for art… failing…

    Noticed recently that Deviant Art now have a game art section.

    It could be argued that games-as-art are constructed by different aspects of art that can stand alone. For example, visual arts, storytelling, interaction design, interface design, code. Their juxtaposition would then be the thing which defines the ‘art’ of games.

    Anyway, my real point is that I need to get in touch with you, ’cause I’m going to be in Sheffield after The Wedding and I believe that time is formally known as FOOTBALL SEASON.


  3. So.. is chess or Magic the Gathering media then? 😉 It’s really more complicated, because there’s no generally accepted definition of game, just like there isn’t of art. So the question is really nonsense to me. So my main point here is that it’s a nonsense question, it doesn’t matter one jot, and, taking ‘traditional’ definitions, games are in fact way more important than art too.

    Also, on “art games” this:

    I’ll get in touch with you via other means for the other stuff! 🙂


  4. Well, media boils down to communication and art is in the communication of things (usually to achieve an added effect separate to the communication. Something above ordinary.)

    Games not only communicate their functionality in their design, they also are a kind of dialogue between the players. If, in the course of playing the pefrct game of chess, you also managed to build or communicate something further, then it might be art. Poetry in game play.
    If you have put anything but the bare minimum needed for communication into building the game, there’s art in it – e.g. woodwork in crafting a fancy chess piece.
    If you build several things together so that they are highlighted by the game play, then “game as art” might be proven.


  5. Another great piece on this here –
    Why video games are works of art

    I primarily look at games as exactly that: games. A title that plays poorly but tells an amazing story has failed as a game, no matter how much anyone may press on for the narrative payoff.

    And it’s those mechanics — the level design, control scheme, and discovering what combination of things will soar over the hurdles designers have set in front of you — that define games as an art form.

    Function, form, interactivity with purpose.

    Unfortunately, I feel this is lost not only on gaming’s opponents, but on many a gamer proper. I read, listen to, and see many opinions on the artistic merit of games focusing solely on storytelling and not on any particular control scheme.


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