US government recognises video games as art

The National Endowment for the Arts adds video games to its list of eligible projects for funding.

by

Since the eminent film critic Roger Ebert first famously declared that video games could never be art back in 2005, the debate surrounding the artistic value of interactive entertainment has continued to rage on, both inside the video game industry and outside of it.

Now, it appears the US government has thrown its support behind video games, officially making the medium eligible for artistic funding. Earlier this month, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)--an independent agency set up by Congress in 1965 to reward artistic excellence in the community--updated its 2012 radio and television guidelines to include wider forms of digital media, including video games.

The new Arts in Media guidelines (formerly known as Arts on Radio and Television guidelines) make "all available media platforms such as the internet, interactive and mobile technologies, digital games, arts content delivered via satellite, as well as on radio and television" eligible for grants and funding from the US government. These grants, once approved, support the development, production, and distribution of projects.

The updated NEA guidelines mean that video game developers can now apply for federal funding but will still have to compete against projects in other art forms such as film, TV, and radio. According to the NEA, grants generally range from US$10,000 to US$200,000, based on the platform and the complexity of the project. Currently, projects eligible for funding can include "high profile multi-part or single television and radio programs (documentaries and dramatic narratives); media created for theatrical release; performance programs; artistic segments for use within an existing series; multi-part webisodes; installations; and interactive games. Short films, five minutes and under, will be considered in packages of three or more."

Discussion

149 comments
Slash_out
Slash_out

Video games are an art. As many said they combine many arts into one form. Each part of the game should be considered as art, as they can be directly competing with others production of that same art category. But games add another form of artisitic creation which is blending all those different arts into one single form. In the end you obtain scenes that combine beautiful art, beautiful music, dialogues and storytelling, to give you a magnificient experience when it is well done.

wyan_
wyan_

Until I can think of something worse, I still think roger failbert deserves to be force fed a steady diet of pig feces, bat vomit and fermented whale sperm for the rest of his life. It's either that or expired chicken mcnuggets.

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

Video games combine elements of music, movies and paintings (drawing out models). If all of these are arts, there is no reason for video games not to be considered an artistic medium !!!

organbank
organbank

If the title said US Government recognizes video game con-artists then it would make more sense. I would be like phew the US Government is finally going to legislate so that gamers have more protection from con-artists like EA/Activision selling them bugged, half-finished or unplayable games.

stziggy
stziggy

How many trillion in debt is our nation? This is what we spend our money on? I love video games, but spend my tax dollars else where.

Henninger
Henninger

This is the only good thing our government has done in years.

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

@marvel456, someday, I'm sure, it'll come true, but you'll have to write down your impressions or something.

nintendo-naut
nintendo-naut

@QUERTYCommanderAhhhh. Well, ya learn somethin' new every day.

cheater87
cheater87

@ DesertLynx83 I know. Only a month left of waiting to go. 0_O THE SUSPENSE!!!

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

This is a major victory for the video game industry. Perhaps people like Jack Thompson and the people at FOX News will finally stop trying to demonize games...

angelbless
angelbless

Video Games should have their own "Oscar Awards" now :)

DesertLynx83
DesertLynx83

@cheater2000 Let's hope it doesn't come to that. I don't think it will, but you never know!

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@Ronnie_Rim So, you suggest they actively avoid posting about newsworthy events in the United States just to keep you from feeling left out, despite the fact that the vast majority of videogame news comes from said country? Maybe you should campaign to get your fellow countrymen to do more stuff anyone might care about.

mrhagane
mrhagane

*going to in front white house* *stand there and shouting* USA! USA! USA!

goodemon
goodemon

Finally!!! team ico can develop a game funded by the us govt. lolz

DeadlyRamon
DeadlyRamon

Video games are indeed art, but the NEA should be abolished (or, instead, fully funded by the private sector).

penguingamer13
penguingamer13

Next time someone complains I am spending all of my time playing video games I can just say that I am actually admiring art!

Fajonkel
Fajonkel

Art: the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. Please, someone tell me how video games AREN'T art. This took a while, but I'm so glad to see it recognized for what it is.

TripSolidBounty
TripSolidBounty

Ebert obviously hasn't played many games since Pong.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

It is good to see the thinking of the US government finally catching up with the thoughts of the average civilised human being.

jasonzilla11
jasonzilla11

Wait: Does that mean that the U.S. will stop worrying about what their children play and worry about more important things, like the economy or the war (just examples)? I agree, games are art. They are just more of an interactive art, if you will.

exedeath
exedeath

Why do people complicate these things this much. Games are art, end of story. Hell you even need an art degree to create the scenery, characters, and other aspects of the game your team is making. They are drawing, and animating characters, and worlds. So how is that not art? That means that animated films, and television series are not art either. Did you think that people just waved a stick around for an hour, and a game popped out? That would be magic. These people draw, and animate. That to me is an art. Art: 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. That is a definition of art. Have you ever looked at a game and just thought wow as you looked the world they created. Congrats, you just appreciated art. @ deathstream. Yes there are people that suck at Mona Lisa. You mean to tell me that you have never seen someone draw, or paint something that you looked at and said,"Wow that really sucks." I know I have.

deathstream
deathstream

After reading some of the comments, I would caution people not to read too much into this. This has absolutely no effect on the California law or any Supreme Court case that could arise. It isn't even an official recognition by the U.S. government. The key phrase that many people seem to have missed is that the NEA is "an independent agency". The NEA changing its guidelines doesn't mean what many people here seem to think it means. This is not a landmark day for Games. It is simply an independent agency tweaking its rules to cover a broader range of media instead of just TV and radio.

Ronnie_Rim
Ronnie_Rim

kai_311 Yes I have. But this website is not made for news about America, its made for news about video games around the world.

kai_311
kai_311

@Ronnie_Rim Haven't you noticed that this website is located in the U.S.?

deathstream
deathstream

Yea, I wouldn't put too much stock in the NEA calling it art. These people called Mapplethorpe's excrement art. Literally. Games aren't Art. They are Games. There are artistic elements, but the games themselves are not Art. I have loved video games since my brother got a Pong system for his birthday in the mid 1970s, but I love them for what they are. Have you ever met anyone who sucked at Mona Lisa?

Pickleking23
Pickleking23

@basangicu I don't believe I ever said that. Just how they were made, the look and feel of the world is what I'm talking about.

Ronnie_Rim
Ronnie_Rim

I'm sorry, but why does this website always have to talk about the U.S.? You do know that people from other countries (such as myself) visit this website.

S1THL0RD777
S1THL0RD777

thank you u.s.a for recognizing video games for what they are, art. im sure some other games like the playboy video game dont count, but littlebigplanet and okami probably changed their minds right away.

SIMIFU
SIMIFU

Now when you walk into an art museum, you can hear the tour guide saying: now on your left is an original Miyamoto. :)

Hirasugi
Hirasugi

@PumpkinBoogie Thanks! Spot on with students being able to make their first steps in the industry. Indie development, even though substantially cheaper than the typical "brown-and-grey" mainstream blockbuster is (at least proportionally) as risky as the big companies. While a $50,000 budget may seem a minut sum for Activision, for Little Jimmy and his friends in High School, it is a tremendous risk. Another benefit is once they gain a fanbase from this financed project they can then sustain their development for other games since their revenue stream increases substantially. This is a VERY good thing. Hopefully we'll get some more creative titles for once that will....GASP...make money (poor Okami).

cheater87
cheater87

What about if the SCOTUS says games are not free speech how will this stand with the Government saying they are art. 0_o Art can't be censored.

Blaketoberfest
Blaketoberfest

Great, now we are going to see games that concentrate more on graphics than actual gameplay...

soolkiki
soolkiki

Are we really bringing this back up..? I personally don't care if they are recognized as such, I just want to have fun with them. If people consider them art, great, if not, woopdeedoodah, they're still fun!

DesertLynx83
DesertLynx83

Hopefully this will stop those idiots trying to pass stupid laws to regulate games...but I'm guessing it won't. Still, this helps!

pedram007
pedram007

Very good news, other governments like Norway where I live did this a while back..

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

Heh, wait until the NEA gives a grant to a video game...Fox News will go beserk!

13Th_Gray_Fox
13Th_Gray_Fox

most of movies are not art either and some of them are , same goes for games

NightRain
NightRain

This is a great day in the history of video games.

Pikdum
Pikdum

I really don't see how video games couldn't be seen as art. Just to name a few I consider art: Shadow of the Colossus, FF7 (Best story ever), and the MGS series. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I see amazing things in video games and I don't require third-party validation. I know what moves me and there are many video games that do.

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

@cre8tive9 I wouldn't count on it with Harper having a majority government. The only movies that can even get government funding have to be documentaries and either need to be moderate enough to use in schools, or conservative enough that they jive with Harper's ideals. Remember, the U.S. got their Obama, but we still have our G.W. Bush.

dtujd2
dtujd2

With games now being officially elevated to "art" status, I think we can pretty much guarantee that the Supreme Court will strike down the California Gaming Law as violating the 1st Amendment. They were probably going to anyway, but when games are now being recognized by the US Government as being the same sort of medium as film, TV, and radio, I don't see how the Supreme Court could get around 1st Amendment protection even if they wanted to. But, I agree...games being recognized as an art form has been long overdue.

cre8tive9
cre8tive9

I'm canadien but good to hear maybe canada will do the same.....

ANUBISZER0
ANUBISZER0

This was a long time coming but I'm glad it's finally happened. I never understood why Video Games weren't recognized as an art when it's so obvious that it is.

jodyben
jodyben

I think they're all artistic (music, movies, games). Some may be better that others. Don't get me wrong, I don't think taking a poop and smearing it on a canvas is art, but hey, to each his own.