Video Games Has Not Been Smooth Sailing

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Video games have come a long way since Pong rid children of their quarters in 1972. In the past few years, a dramatic shift in the publics’ view of games has occured. What was once considered a kid’s toy capable of turning brains into mush is now enjoyed by the average age of 35 (Essential Facts). In recent times, another paradigm shift has begun for gaming: the road to becoming an art form. Today, museum curators from across the globe continue to accept video games into their collection, adding to its legitimacy. However, just as movies struggled to be considered art in the 1970s, the path for video games has not been smooth sailing. Many critics, such as the late Roger Ebert, have been increasingly vocal about their reasoning for why a…show more content…
This definition is not complete, however. The element that separates an art game such as Myst from the average time waster, such as Angry Birds, is that the former has something to say to the audience, versus just making the audience feel a certain way. Myst has a deep tale underneath its puzzles that is comparable to storytelling in books and movies, while Angry Birds is aimed primarily for the user to have fun. In this way, video games can be put under the category of a literary art, which Encyclopedia Britannica defines as being characterized by a narrative (Clarke and Mitchell). With that, video games make for a compelling storytelling medium.
Video game art is not purely limited to storytelling, however. There are other games that fall into the category of fine arts, albeit they are much less common than the literary works previously mentioned. One of the best examples of this type of game is the 2009 PlayStation exclusive Flower. The game features no narrative whatsoever, yet still manages to be what Ryan Clements of gaming website IGN called “very unique and very powerful” (Clements). In the game, you play as a flower “dreaming” about flying through a lush meadow, while a stream of pedals accompanies you. The games breathtaking scenery is accompanied by its equally awe inspiring music, coalescing to become a coherent experience. There are no scores or even a way to “win” the game; instead, it is an experience designed for its aesthetic
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