Video Games: An Underappreciated Connection Between Player and Game

By Alyssa Barrera ’17 and Irving Espinoza ’17

The first video game was released nearly 50 years ago, and since then, video games have received a lot of critique on their morals and teachings. In modern age, many look at the exterior of popular games such as Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto and judge video games as a whole based off of these type of violent video games. However, numerous games break this common stereotype revolving their purpose and quality. These games deserve to be appreciated as a form of art due to their aesthetic beauty and emotional connection with the characters.

In most modern games, designers focus on how to make the game as appealing as possible to the player to give an overall great experience. In an article addressing “walking simulator” games, video game critic Chris Suellentrop explained, “They seek to distill part of the core experience of video games to its essence.” Designers choose to focus on the aspects of video games that will allow their audience to indulge in the environment of the game and reflect on the deeper meaning.

Despite the amount of pushback on video games as a form of art, many have learned to embrace their beauty and immersiveness. According to Forbes, ““The Smithsonian American Art Museum established a traveling exhibit on the Art of Video Games. And all the while, video games themselves have been improving their graphics and music and color palettes for stunning immersive experiences.” Although it is often not taken into account, the creation of video games focuses on which aspects will affect their audiences overall experience, whether that aspect be an environmental, musical, or a visual one.

Many of those who disagree with video games being a form of art argue that they do not fit the definition of what art is. However, Merriam-Webster defines art as “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.” Video games are well known for their immersive environments, which allow players to almost step into a “new world.” Even in shooter games, such as Halo and Call of Duty, there are background stories provided to better connect their audience with the game.

Overall, video game designers  have increasingly put in effort to create games that best allows players to indulge in the indulge in the environment and story line of the game. Even in games that are less story based, designers focus on other aspects, such as realism and sound, to create an immersive experience for players.