Video games, since their creation, have provided hours upon hours of entertainment. From Atari to the more recent gaming devices like the Playstation or the X-Box variations, they've all created a vivid series of games for our entertainment. We've come a long way from Galaga and Pac-Man. In more current video games, graphics and general design have improved substantially. World building in the games has also been increased so that games like Skyrim can be played for infinite time spans.
Thousand of man hours have been put into these games, and not just by the people that play them. With the better graphics, designs and world building, some would classify video games as an art while others would dispute against it. So, are video games a form of art?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, art is defined as, "something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings." Following the actual definition, video games would fall under the category of art. Those who design video games are similar to those who create sculptures, paintings or even write literature. People use codes and artwork to create the graphics choices in the game, including character building.
All of the maps, scenery and background objects are also created in a similar way to enhance the design of the game. The graphics and design aren't only influenced by artistic expression, though. The storyline of the video game also involves a lot of creative freedoms in order to progress the game. There are often a long series of choices that you can make in order to get yourself to the end goal of the game.
However, art doesn't always fall under stereotypical definitions. Sometimes, art is created mainly for the emotional effect that it has or will have on people when they see it. Engaging with art and recognizing certain emotions due to it is often a solid that whatever it happens to be is indeed a piece of art. For instance, I often feel a sense of calm and serenity when listening to Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata."
When looking at Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night, I often feel a sense of excitement and happiness. Art effects us all in one way or another, whether openly or subconsciously. The question, then, is do video games cause us to feel that same sense of emotion? Now, many gamers will admit that they often feel a plethora of emotions when playing games. However, these emotions aren't often due to the beauty of the game.
More often than not, the emotions come from trying to defeat a big boss and continuously having to respawn or from having just won the really big battle in which you finally received the special armor you had been trying to get for days. However, in games like The Witcher III, the effects are so vivid that one can't help but to say "Wow!" So in this aspect too, it seems that video games fall under the category of art.