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Are video games art?
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Video games are interactive art

One could argue that art is interactive; a dialogue between the work of art and the viewer. A person sees a work of art and connects their personal experiences with the image portrayed. The viewer influences the art, and vice versa. Video games go a step beyond this to where the player can not only experience and influence the art on screen, but can directly manipulate it.

The Argument

Art is interactive; it is a dialogue between the artwork and the viewer. The art talks to the viewer by compelling them to interpret it, and the viewer talks to the art by projecting their personal experiences onto it and making connections. This interaction is what creates meaning. A more literal form of interactive art is art which allows the viewer to manipulate or play with it. Such examples include art which allows people to create their own music, work their way through mazes, or even put on live performances.[1] In art such as this, the artwork is a tool for the participant to use to create meaning or a new experience. The goal of interactive art is still to create meaning, but it achieves it in a more active way. Video games are interactive art. They act as a vessel for a story which can be influenced by the player, or as a tool with which the player can create. People create meaning when they play a video game; for some it is a form of escapism, for others it is a way in which they can explore new worlds or even create their own.

Counter arguments

Video games are not interactive art because art is not interactive. That which is called "interactive art" is just an activity, like going to a theme park. No one would argue that theme parks are art; they are getaways where one can go to relax and have a little bit of fun. People don't ponder the meaning of a theme park or value it for its aesthetic value. Advertisements and posters may adorn walls and signposts, but these are not art either. In the same vein, video games are mindless distractions from everyday life. They are an activity in which one can relax and let go of reality for a while as they immerse themself into the game. There is no artistic impact other than pretty graphics, which, just like the posters at theme parks, are only there to convey information.



[P1] Art is interactive in both a literal and figurative sense. [P2] Video games are interactive art.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Art is not interactive because "interactive art" is just another name for an activity one can do. [Rejecting P2] Video games are not art.


This page was last edited on Sunday, 26 Apr 2020 at 18:14 UTC

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