Many the exhibitions held in respected art venues.

Many adults know about the negative
stereotypical views video games received throughout the years. Views consisting
of promoting violence and aggressive behavior, which it will not help the
players later in life, and other usual excuses many parents use in not letting
their children play them. Nevertheless, many of the generations, both new and
old, look to video games as a form of art and inspiration. Video games over the
past few years are now considered an art form. 
It is astonishing on how something so negatively viewed, has become a
good portion of art culture. Truly, video games are a
collision of art, literature, and playwrights in one interactive medium. Yet,
how are video games an example of all three arts, in the first place?

One, video games are similar to that which
is considered fine art such as paintings like the Mona Lisa or cultural
structures like the Thinker because of the in-depth intent and meanings the
player experiences and the exhibitions held in respected art venues. The art that
is exhibited in museums and art venues and many Universities have archives,
studies, and even made documentaries about them and their artists.
Surprisingly, in the recent years, dozens of video game exhibits have been held
in thoroughly respectable venues and museums such as the Smithsonian and MoMA
(Moriarty, 2015). G1 Universities even carry archives of
the games and hardware, as well as carry out video game studies and made
documentaries out of these studies. However, is video game really an art? Many
experts in the recent years consider these games as an art form that collides
art and science together, and its own technology expanding the canvas for an
artist to paint and tell their stories. It is believed to be the art form that
only exists in digital space and the only form of media that allows for
personalization of the artistic experience while retaining the authority of the
artist. To clarify, video games allow each player a different experience the
artists convey in art or graphics of the game. They even include traditional
forms of artistic expression in a new style, such as sculpture in 3D modeling,
illustration in 2D modeling, or pointillism in pixel
sprites (Melissinos, 2015).  However,
that is just the visual art aspect of video games.G2 G3 G4 

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Two, video games are an example of
artistic literature because they contain elements of a plot and interactive
storytelling. In the few decades of video games development, most games have
been developed with interactive storytelling. By definition, interactive
storytelling is “a form of the digital environment in which users create
or influence a dramatic storyline through actions” (Ferk, n.d.). In
literature, the author has absolute control over the story, whereas in video
games the creator of the story gives some control to the player, therefore,
making the player experience the story told. For instance, in literature, the
author presents the protagonist to his or her readers. The G5 G6 G7 protagonist’s
actions are fixed by the author, therefore the readers just watch on the
sidelines as if the two were different peG8 ople.
Now games, on the other hand, allows the player to experience the protagonist’s
journey as if they were the same person. A perfect example of this experience
is role-playing games or RPGs, where the PC or player’s character, whose
actions and decisions are controlled by the user, does not see the story but
actually participates in it. What are supporting characters in literature are
the same as NPCs or non-player characters in video games, they are not
controlled by the user but by an AI or artificial intelligence created by the
same creator of the story. Nevertheless, do video games follow the same plot
devices aG9 G10 G11 s in literature? As a matter of fact,
they do. Every video game story follows a strict rule of having a beginning,
body, climax, and ending and archetype. By definition, an archetype G12 is an idea, symbol, pattern, or
character-type, in a story and it’s any story element that appears again and
again in stories from cultures around the world and symbolizes something
universal in the human experience (2017, Archetype: Definitions and Examples). In the case
of the Sonic the Hedgehog games;
Sonic is the hero G13 archetype, Shadow is the anti-hero
archetype, Tails aka Miles Prowler is the sidekick archetype, and Dr. Eggman is
arch nemesis archetype. As mentioned, video games are both art and literature.
There is, however, one last artistic aspect of video games to mention.G14 G15 G16 G17 G18 

Lastly, video games are like theatre
productions where the player becomes the star actor or actress and director by
the experience
of playing as the main characterG19  in a fictional world or story. Video
games are similar to an interactive theatre or “a presentational or
theatrical form or work that breaks the “fourth wall” that
traditionally separates the performer from the audience both physically and
verballyG20 .” (2012, Pawar). Nevertheless, in
video games, the interactivity is the participation of the playerG21  as the main character of the story. According to
Daniel and Sidney Homan, during the age of ” video game narrative”
games, where plot, narrative, and dialogue started become important to video
game development, enhancing the player’s role as an actor and giving them the
role of playwright devising the script and determining the direction of the
plot (2014, pg. 7) G22 G23 G24 Now in the recent years, the narrative in
video games has become all-important since most contain multiple story paths,
thousands of lines of alternate dialogue, and adding a voice to their
characters.  In both theater and games,
the audience has the ability to change the meaning and even the script usedG25 G26 G27 . In summary, video games are a
combination of these three considered art mediums; however, there are art
critics who believe otherwise. G28 G29 G30 

Many famous art critics believe that video
games can never be art due to there being no individual ownership for the
“artist” to make it theirs. Robert Ebert (2010), a film critic, once wrote:
“G31 No one in or out of the field has
ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great poets,
filmmakers, novelists, and poets.G32 “(para. 21). Ebert argues the one
difference between art and games is that you can win a game. To clarify, a
video game has rules, points, objectives, and an outcome; therefore, even if
one can cite a game with no rules or points, it ceases to be a game and becomes
a representation of a story, a novel, a play, dance, a film. A story, novel,
play, or film are a thing that cannot be won, only experienced (2010, para.
11). G33 He also argues the interactivity of a
game meant that the creator was unable to claim an authorial vision (Stuart,
2012). To clarify, Ebert states “No one ‘owns’ the game” (Stuart, 2012, para.4).
In this case, there is no artist, therefore no work of art.  However, these are the same counter-arguments
used again and again.

A rebuttal to Ebert’s argument may be that
games are an expressive medium and a form of communication because of their
interactivity and rules. According to Chris Melissinos, while playing games,
gamers can be inspired to feel guilt or joy or moral ambiguity and be
transformed instead of just distracted (Tucker, 2012). Melissinos, comparing
games and books, states that in books, everything is laid before the audience
so there is nothing to discover; nevertheless, games allow the ownership of the
author to remain true while allowing the observer to explore and experiment the
world given. Keith Stuart states that the critics like Ebert feel threatened by
video games being art; therefore, they attempt to barricade themselves against
the flood of the new, to fence in what they understand and can safely ascribe
meaning to (Stuart, 2012). In Ebert’s argument “No one in or out of the
field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great
poets, filmmakers, novelists, and poets.”G34 (2010, para.21); however, two things
have happened in this decade that weakens this argument. First, the rise of the
independent games because of the “Indies” producing thousands of edgy, curious
and deeply personal games those are similar to art (Moriarty 2015). Second, the
new experiences which fuse the technology of games and cinema into dynamic
hybrids that are neither games nor cinema (Moriarty, 2015).  In the argument of video games having rules
and can be won not experienced, Melissinos (2015) rebukes “In video games, we
find three distinct voices: the creator, the game, and the player. Those who
play a game are following the story of the author and are bound by the
constructs of the rules—but G35 based on the choices they make; the
experience can be completely personal. If you can observe the work of another
and find in it personal connection, then art has been achieved.” (para.3). Game
developers make games about serious issues and historic events, portraying
their own or others’ struggles with life, or based off of folklore and legends.
In June of 2012, the Supreme Court ruled video games should be considered an
art form, as deserving of the United States First Amendment safeguards as “the
protected books, plays, and movies that preceded them.G36 “(Tucker, 2012, para.1).

To clarify, some games are based on other art
mediums such as film and literature.G37 
Games can be either based loosely on these mediums creating a different
interpretation or can be exactly derived from the medium.  Sometimes, a popular novel becomes a base for
G38 G39 a film creating two sources game
developers can merge or use separately no matter the profound difference. The
games may even become better than the mediums their based off of because the
game sometimes achieve what the author or movie director is trying to do. For
instance, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is
based on the Lord of the Rings novels
and The Hobbit films.  However, the absurdly long LOTR and Hobbit
films built drama into their absurdly long battle sequences, wherein the
audience needed to see named characters in peril and reappearing super-threats
is something Mordor does not use (Meer, 2015). According to Alec Meer (2015),
Mordor structure in the battle scenes are more vivid and breathlessly inspiring
due to the hero becoming stronger in a more realistic slow pace. To clarify,
Mordor had achieved the battle scenes and experiences the movies and novels
tried to portray since a novel and movie have a limited time for the main
characters progression (Meer, 2015). Even so, literature-based games are
developed and are moreG40  popular than movie based games
because literature based games has less limitations on the story or script.
Literature games can also be a retelling of a story in a different light. For
example, American McGee’s Alice
released in 2000 by Electronic Arts, a dark retelling of the Alice in Wonderland story starting with
Alice in a catatonic state due to the death of her family (American McGee’s
Alice (Video Game), n.d.). In this state, she is transported to a twisted
Wonderland, using a variety of deadly toys to kill the Queen’s minions, many of
which are her former friends and companions trying to destroy her and solving a
number of puzzles along the way to destroy the Queen of Hearts and return
Wonderland to its former self, thus healing her mind as well. Her guide and
primary ally is a twisted, emaciated Cheshire Cat, who can be summoned by the
player for hints on how to go or just the occasional cryptic quote (American
McGee’s Alice (Video Game), n.d.). As noted, the game is twisted and morbid
journey into the mind based off of Alice
in Wonderland. Some video games are inspired by literature and tell an
entirely different story in the case of Assassin’s
Creed. Surprisingly, Creed was heavily inspired by a 1930 novel titled Alamut. According to David Roberts
(2016), the author’s, Vladimir Bartol, novel Alamut centers on a man named Hassan-i Sabbah, who is a Persian
missionary and converted a small community back in the 11th century. Sabbah
formed the Hashshashin to further their order. The motto of the Hashshashin
“Nothing is an absolute reality, all is permitted.” (Roberts, 2016,
para.1). Creed follows the Hashshashin motto in a different way because Alamut doesn’t
really touch on the whole “ancient high-tech civilization controls
humanity’s actions through a series of magical artifacts to prevent a massive
cataclysm in 2012” plot Assassin’s
Creed contains. Lastly, these games allow exploration of the world created
in the book as portrayed in The Witcher.
Witcher is actually based off of a Polish series of dark fantasy short stories
and novels under the same title. For the game, the developers use the lovely
“amnesia” trick on the Polish novel series’ main protagonist, Geralt of Rivia
(Roberts, 2016). In the game, Geralt lost much of his memory of his time
adventuring, leaving you to learn about the world and its inhabitants as you
progress. The Witcher series are
famous for wading in the books’ own morally gray ethics – only this time, the
player’s choices actually affect the world more than if one would simply turn a
page (Roberts, 2016). Many iconic video game franchises even sources for other
mediums, mostly for film and books; for instance, a grand example would be the
famous Resident Evil series. Six
movies, a book series, and comic series under the same title were loosely based
off it (JTRW, 2014).  All those mentioned
are examples of how video games is becoming a new herald to books, films, and
plays that precede art.G41 G42 G43 

As mentioned, even
though video games still receive negative stereotypical views to this day, it
is rapidly becoming an art form in the art culture. Whether some art critics
disagree and maintain the same “video games can never be art”
argument, there is no denying a cultural change on what is believed to be art
and on video games themselves. Video games are an example of fine art like
sculptures and paintings the in-depth intent and meanings the player experiences and the same use of artistic techniques
with new methods. They are appearing in art shows and exhibited in respected
venues such as MoMA. Video games are interactive stories that allow the player
to personally experience the plot and explore the fictional world they are in.
They are similar to the interactive theatre productions enhancing the player’s
role of the actor, in addition to the roles of director and playwright. Video
games are derived from the older art mediums, such as literature and film, and
some of these older mediums are based on video games. In short, video games are
really becoming a part of art culture whether everyone wants it or not.G44