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The Art of Gameplay

Screenshot from "Bientôt l’été", the latest in artful gaming.

Screenshot from “Bientôt l’été”, the latest in artful gaming.

The last few years have seen a steady rise in non-traditional games that push the boundaries of the medium itself. These titles are proving that games are not only an interactive form of literature and storytelling, but are also capable of being considered as forms of art. These games are not only aesthetically stunning are also inspired, thought provoking and incredibly moving.

Like all progressive forms of art, there are those that challenge the idea of video games being classified as art. Legendary film critic Roger Ebert in particular has been vehemently opposed to this notion. In a 2010 he wrote an article titled  ‘Video Games Can Never Be Art’ where he not only argued this claim, but did so whilst admitting that he hasn’t actually played any games that fans consider works of art.

Art is subjective. No one will ever 100% agree on what is and isn’t art, and that’s okay. If Ebert wishes to believe and profess that video games aren’t art, that’s his prerogative  However, to state that an entire medium of expression can never achieve the status of being ‘art’ is incredibly short-sighted. Furthermore, to make this claim without bothering to experience some truly beautiful games is simply an example of poor research.

Some of you out there may not be particularly well acquainted with the world of gaming. Like movies and literature, the gaming medium is home to a vast variety of genres. Furthermore, the games within them range from simplistic and light-hearted, to violent and blood thirsty, to heartbreakingly beautiful. Today I will introduce you to two games that are both highly praised and almost universally considered as art in the gaming world. If nothing else, they certainly have changed the way in which people view game play in general. Continue reading

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