Video Games as Interpretative Art

kirby_mario_pikachu_samus_aran_snakes_donkey_kong_the_last_supper_yoshi_super_smash_bros_star_fox_so_Art HD

“The Last Brawl” TheArchNemesis, 2016

Ian Danskin’s Video Article: The Artist is Absent: Davey Wreden and The Beginner’s Guide

The question of whether video games are art remains a controversial topic in the art world despite years of evolution in the field. (Melissinos, 2015) The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of art reads “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” Some games may fit that framework better than others, but it can’t be said that “art” and “video game” are two mutually exclusive realms. (Tucker, 2012) Good art, especially drawings and designs, is a fundamental of game development. Does the development of a video game by a large team declassify it as a meaningful projection of the author’s creativity? Could the same be said about printmakers who have their large-scale designs crafted by a team of helping hands, sometimes without the intervention of the “artist” at all?

view of Abramovic's performance art piece at MoMA

“The Artist is Present” Abramović, 2010

Claims have been made that since video games are interactive, they are not art. However, in that instance, all performance art pieces that encourage the work of viewers to “create the art” cannot be considered art anymore. Marina Abramović, the work of which was hosted in the Museum of Modern Art and is one of the most acclaimed performance art pieces of all time, is no longer an artist. (Artsology, 2013) The unwillingness to accept video games as an extension of the artist’s self is a function of people’s ignorance and misunderstanding of technology. (Bradley, 2014)


Artsology, (2013). Marina Abramović, Jay-Z, and Andres Serrano. [online] The Artsology Blog. Available at: [Accessed 21 Aug. 2016].

Bradley, L. (2014). The Real Reason Everyone Thinks Millennials Suck. [online] Slate Magazine. Available at: [Accessed 21 Aug. 2016].

Melissinos, C. (2015). Chris Melissinos on Video Games as Art. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Aug. 2016].

TheArchNemesis, (2016). Last Supper Spoofs. [online] The Arch Nemesis. Available at: [Accessed 21 Aug. 2016].

Tucker, A. (2012). The Art of Video Games. [online] Smithsonian. Available at: [Accessed 21 Aug. 2016].



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