Several weeks ago, KidsPost did a story on “The Art of Video Games” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The exhibition has created debate with some people saying that as fun and interactive as video games are, they are not works of art. Other people say that video games may be a new form of art and that they belong in museums. We asked readers for their take on the issue. Here is a sample of a few of the letters we received. As you can see, the debate continues!
Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. I think that video games fit this definition. People that create video games are using their creativity and imagination.
— Shivali Dessai, 12, Ashburn
I think video games are art because it involves characters, music, paintings and other media to make the game. . . . Video games are fun and action-packed but remember, they are one form of art!
— Dev Patel, 8, Reston
Video games are like a painting on an electronic screen. The controller functions as your paintbrush, while the screen serves as your canvas. In order to make a video game, you have to think of something original to reach your audience. That is the point of art.
— Mary Pottanat, 13, Falls Church
I think that video games are art because art is a way of communicating ideas to the public or audience in a way that is fun to them. The “audience or public,” who in this case are kids and adults, are finding these exhibit video games from different time periods . . . interesting. Video games would not have been art if it had not been for the kids and adults engaged in “the art of video games.”
— Ryan Puthumana, 10, Frederick
I think video games are art because different games have different graphics just like different artists have different ways of making art.
— Damianos Mylones, 9, Reston
I don’t think video games are art, but don’t get me wrong. I love video games. But my vision of art is painting and making music, or performing on stage in a play. Sitting around at home looking at the screen for hours on end is not art.
— Matthew Rice, 12, Silver Spring.
However incredible, realistic and entertaining video games are, they are not art. Poetry is art, and painting is art, but not video games. Art has passion, beauty and culture that no technology could ever compare to. Even though you can create art in some video games, the “Mona Lisa” wasn’t painted with Nintendo. . . . Video games are not art.
— Caroline Kaplan, 10, Ashburn
I believe video games are not a form of art. Art can be defined as a visual and creative expression of feelings or mood. Although it is arguable that video games are visual, they do not express feelings in any way.
— Pranab Kirshnan, 12, Reston