Videogames are not art. But hear me out before you flame me. I have been thinking about this for a while and there is a key difference between videogames and the artforms. Videogames are interactive. Artforms are not. Just think of this example. What if you were watching a movie that let you choose the major decisions the character made? The movie sequences themselves you would consider art, but the act of making that decision is not art. Interactivity is not art.
Coming from a fairly hardcore gamer, this may seem like sacrilege. Videogames as art is the holy grail of the industry. We need the mainstream society to see games equally with films, music, and books. But we really don’t. Videogames shine through their interactivity, not the art. It’s great when the art is good, but every long time gamer realizes eventually that games are about the game play. You can put up with bad art if the gameplay is great. Certainly, good art can enhance the gameplay experience, but it is always about the gameplay.
And so, videogames are something more than art. The next evolution. Movies, music, and books represent the passive experience. Videogames are the first form of the interactive experience. I have seen some interactive movies and books. In a way these can be thought of as primitive videogames. Technology was not there to really provide full interactivity. I firmly believe the future will be about interactivity. Will there be something else, some new interactive experience that 1-ups videogames? Maybe, but we can at least be happy that videogames started this new revolution.