Boateng Gold Unit 1: Part D

Are Video Games Art?

Why I chose this issue

I love to play video games but they have a bad rep. I think they are art, and can be artistic. I wanted to find out what other people thought.

Research into this issue

I used Google to do some research into this issue and this is what I found:

  1. What is the biggest selling game of all time?


  1. Have any games ever won prizes for the art?

Ghost of Tsushima – Winner of The Game Award for Best Art Direction

  1. Who is the most famous game designer?

Gabe Newell – President of the video game company Valve.

Some Quotes

As an art form that has only existed in the digital space, video games are truly a collision of art and science. They include many forms of traditional artistic expression—sculpture in the form of 3D modeling, illustration, narrative arcs, and dynamic music—that combine to create something that transcends any one type.

Video Games Are One of the Most Important Art Forms in History

The concept of video games as a form of art is a commonly debated topic within the entertainment industry. Though video games have been afforded legal protection as creative works by the Supreme Court of the United States, the philosophical proposition that video games are works of art remains in question, even when considering the contribution of expressive elements such as acting, visuals, stories, interaction and music. Even art games, games purposely designed to be a work of creative expression, have been challenged as works of art by some critics.[1]


Among Us is my favorite game. The subtle realism is so good, the gameplay is absolutely shattering with bliss, Everything about this game, i love. It’s joyful. Great graphics, great references

Reddit User

Talking to my friends and teachers

Alexey (my English teacher) doesn’t play much because he’s too busy with his kids, but he played a game called The Saboteur. He says that it was his favourite game as he played it a lot of hours.

I found out that the saboteur is a game about nazi occupied Paris. It is an open world game with lots of weapons and fighting. The art looks pretty good.

My friend Cael said “I personally think video games are a form of art in a way because it takes a lot of effort”

My Maths and English Teacher Fiona said “Video games are ‘commercial art’ – this means their purpose is different from the art that you would find in an art gallery. So, are videos games a form of artistic expression?  – no – because they must meet a brief (the commercial element) which is not compatible with  self expression (that which we expect from gallery art). However, as commercial art , they definitely reflect artistry.”

Gathering Opinions

I created a survey to find out what people thought. I sent this survey to different groups:

  • Students at my school – These people will probably like video games a lot
  • Teachers at my school – Some of my teachers might be secret gamers! Let’s find out.
  • A gaming community on Discord – My teacher, Melanie, has connections to some well-known gamers who play on Twitch. She sent my survey to them via discord. Some of these gamers play in pro tournaments so they might have a different view to school people.

You can take my survey yourself here:

Here are some screenshots from my survey:

Here are the results of the survey – I wanted to embed it but it won’t work so you need to click the link.

People gave some really interesting responses that I will comment on in my blog post.

My blog post on this issue: Are Video Games Art?

I’m not very memorable for when I played my first video game, but I do remember my first console. It was the PS2. However, I do not remember what games I played on the PS2. I recently bought it and played one of my most cherished games on the system, The Simpsons: Hit and Run, one of my favourite games on the system, however, it isn’t my favourite artistic game of all time (although it is a spectacular game).

One of my cherished artistic games of all time is Sonic Mania with its classic 16-bit style gameplay, going back to the roots of where he started 30 years ago (happy anniversary sonic!)

Another one of my favourite artistic games is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a beautiful exploration game that legit made me cry when I first played the game and played the story, it was beautiful, There’s a sequel coming out so I’m excited for that.

According to the internet, Minecraft is the highest-selling game.

The graphics in this game are very artistic, you have a nostalgic feeling every time you play Minecraft, you’re in a new world, not in the world you live in, but in a new world. Some video games have even one prizes for art, like the Ghost of Tsushima.

Gabe Newell is a designer who made games like Half-Life and I would say he is an artist. But what do other people think?

On Reddit, some say that “video games are truly a collision of art and science. They include many forms of traditional artistic expression—sculpture in the form of 3D modelling, illustration, narrative arcs, and dynamic music—that combine to create something that transcends any one type.” However “even art games, games purposely designed to be a work of creative expression, have been challenged as works of art by some critics.”

To find out what people thought, I sent a survey to a range of people, students at my school, and some gamers from Twitch to see what they thought. The first question I asked was what people thought was the most artistic game of all time. Some of the games they chose were Gris, Nier Automata, and The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. I agree with the people that said Gris, it looks very beautiful, very artistic indeed. Nier: Automata catches the art indeed, I really agree with how detailed and artistic it looks. Fancy even. I agree with the People that said The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. One of the most artistic, GREATEST games of all time. It’s beautiful how a small console, can handle such an artistic masterpiece. I’m not really familiar with REZ, but seeing the trailer it looks really unique. Very scfi and futuristic, I don’t know about artistic but it looks very interesting. The Last of Us is one of the most artistic, well-written games of all time. I would even go far as to say it’s one of the greatest games of all time. An absolute masterpiece of storytelling and gameplay. Worth the time.

I asked people whether they thought video games were art, here are some of their responses:

“Some are great works of art, some are a waste of time.”

This is a really good answer, as there are a lot of games that waste a lot of time with you. But a lot of games will really inspire and let you run wild with your imagination

“They are creative, but not ‘art’ (to transmit a unique message or say something in a new way) – rather video games’ objective is to entertain (not inform) and meet someone else’s brief. How well they ‘entertain’ and meet this brief determines their position on the ‘waste of time’/ Valient effort spectrum.”

I agree with most of these points except the art part. Video games can change your perspective of life and your mind and that’s why I think it’s art. Art defines a man-made masterpiece that can change how you see the world, and video games do exactly that.

“For the same reason some people find chess boring or don’t want to go surfing – different people have different tastes and get satisfaction from other pastimes.”

In response to this, I COMPLETELY agree with this. Most people find video games boring and it’s not their cup of tea. Most people however just pull something stupid and say it’s damaging to your health when it’s not the case. 

Evidence of sharing

My blog was published in the art magazine created by Gold Art Award Students for our unit 2. Here are some photos of my blog in place:

Go the next part of my project

Go back to the start