Games are officially art!
At last games have been acquired by MoMa. MoMa chose a design approach to the selection of the games, looking into the design of visuals but also many other aspects like the elegance of the coding and how the games was designed to be interactive. MoMa has explored this side of design before but this is the first time video games was included in an art collection effectively raising video games to a new level.
Some of the games are quite simple in their visual design, like Pacman, but others offers a much more immersive experience. Another factor of especially one of the games is the take on choice and morality found in Heavy Rain, one of the newer games among the ones MoMa selected for their collection. This games features many hard choices and leaves you feeling anxious and stressed and even very uncomfortable with the choices you make. I have played this game myself with friends, and the pure intensity of the game is unparalleled by any other art form I have experienced.
IdeaChannel has a quite interesting take on this and also provides a list of 5 other artful games.
On the notion of morality, games might just inhabit the most potent position of any current medium. In many modern games you are faced with moral decisions on every corner. In Fable you’ll be given the choice of acting benevolent and help others in a fantasy world inhabited by werewolves and other strange creatures. Or you can lead them to the Temple of Scorm and sacrifice them in exchange for a bow. But this is a poor example, a better example is the moral choices(or lack of) you face in games like Modern Warfare where the default enemy, as in many games often is Muslim terrorists. Games like Battlefield 2 was developed together with the american army and used in training. This is very disturbing seeing that the percentage of people in world war 2 who shot to kill was 15-20 percent. Today’s soldier are up in 100%. Plato disowned theater for masking the truth of existence but perhaps games nowadays does just the same only to a more efficient and lethal result.
Extra Credit has a brilliant take on games as propaganda.
Perhaps MoMa some day will go to the acquisition of games on their merit as moral artwork.
On another note we have the surrealistic nature of many games something IdeasChannel talk about in this video.
MoMa on the acquisition of Games as Art: http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2012/11/29/video-games-14-in-the-collection-for-starters/