The question made me wonder, and in order for my thinker to arrive at a thoughtful answer, I wanted to fully understand the definition of Art. I typed out a few google searches, “What is Art?” and also “define Art”. The range of results was so broad and varied that I will do no summarizing, here. I read lists and theories and essays that quoted and disputed other lists and theories and essays. I stepped away no smarter than I was before I began my search.
So I returned to the MOMA, where the question originated in the first place. “Are video games art?” For the Museum to consider Art for their collections, they use criteria such as: historical relevance, cultural relevance, aesthetic expression, innovative approaches to technology, and successful synthesis of materials and techniques.
After consideration, (drum roll) the MOMA has determined that Video Games are, indeed, art. The Museum has announced that they have created a new category for video games and their exhibit will open in March.
They plan to eventually have 40 games, but they have selected the first 14 games for their exhibit.
Here are the games that will soon be on display at the MOMA: (I have to admit I’ve never heard of many of them)
Another World (1991)
SimCity 2000 (1994)
The Sims (2000)
Katamari Damacy (2004)
EVE Online (2003)
Dwarf Fortress (2006)
I would like to come up with an opinion about this that I can defend strongly one way or the other, but I really can’t. I can’t because, going full circle, I’m still not sure how to define “art” in the first place.
All I know is that when a game is visually appealing, I enjoy it more. I know that I have frequently been in awe of stunning graphics and delightful execution. I enjoy interacting with, and getting lost in a well-designed game. When a game is innovative and entertaining, when it uses new techniques and engages me as a user, it is all good. An Artist creates, and the creativity of the game-makers cannot be denied.
So, considering that I just used many of the same adjectives as the MOMA to describe my experience with video games, I do believe that my opinion must be a “yes” (surprising even me).
What do you think of the list? And, even more basic, what do you think of Video Games being classified as art?