Someone I have never heard of before, Roger Ebert, has been making a big splash saying that games are not art. In my opinion he is wrong. What is or isn’t art is an oft discussed subject, especially amongst artists, here is a typical discussion .
Nowadays a game production will involve many artists, who often have an art life outside of games. I was at Imagine when we first borrowed an artist from an advertising agency to get the clouds right in the Spectrum game, Zoom. But the use of artists in making something does not necessarily mean that what they produce is art.
My take, fwiw, is that anything is art if it’s creator (as per Marcel Duchamp) says it is. So if I float a shaving cream island across my bathroom sink and say that it is art then it is art. Another take is to say that art is anything that can engender an emotional response. By this measure games are definitely art. More so than some other media because of their interactive nature.
I am sure that when the moving picure industry started it was not considered to be art, just entertainment for the masses. Now it is universally regarded and referred to as art. The big change is just one of maturity. Exactly the same has happened with television. And exactly the same will happen with games.
One of the things that really annoys me is that the BBC (and many other media) report about computer games under the heading of technology. Yet go to their arts section and you have cinema and television. This is just so illogical, why are games judged by the medium and television by the content?
So, as ever, what do you think? Are games art? Is the BBC right? Discuss!