R-P-G as A-R-T: Why video games should be considered artistic masterpieces

Emily Linder, BHS Journalism

What do you think of when you think of art? A painting or sculpture, or maybe something more abstract, such as theatre, dance, or music?

Would you ever consider something as stereotypically “geeky” as a video game a masterpiece? Bringing together stunning visual graphics, along with soaring soundtracks, skilled voice acting, cohesive fight scenes, and a rich story, the games that so many dismiss are actually perfect examples at what great art- of all genres- should be like.

The esteemed Merriam-Webster defines art as “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.”

Think about this for a minute: a whole team of people work for long periods of time to bring an idea to life. Designers create stunning worlds, graphics and people to interact with. Writers help further develop that idea in a script and storyline. Actors are hired to voice the characters. Musicians are brought in to record the score.

All of these are basic jobs when it comes to video game creation, and it all requires the interweaving of all of these other forms to create a game that is truly amazing. And are not all of these crafts- music, design, acting- already artistic works?

These games often leave an impact on the players long after the credits roll. Baldwin High School sophomore Caden Franklin had this to say about his favorite game Life is Strange: “Let me just sum up the great parts of this game for you: Great story, great characters, great soundtrack, great setting, and a great atmosphere.”

“What I love most about this game though, is how it makes you think,” Franklin said. “Think about your everyday decisions, big or small, and how everything could have gone differently.”

With their overall beauty, and being such a tapestry of other art forms, along with the strong feelings they leave gamers, it is easy to see why video games are truly a masterpiece that, sadly, are often overlooked.