Any of you that went to school know what High School was like. Or you know years 9-12 for those non-Americans. You get stuck reading books many of us don’t want to read by Shakespear or having to read Moby Dick. We have seen War and Peace and thought screw that, the book is huge. You hear the same sentiments about movies, the Godfather for example or Citizen Kane are revered as some of the best movies of all time. Even many people that don’t really read or watch movies know many of the things I just named. The question is, should video games be viewed and revered in the same way?
Well for starters, about two-thirds of Americans own some sort of video game playing device. I couldn’t find the numbers for other countries but I imagine it is at least similar, so most people seem to own something to play video games on whether it be a console or PC. It basically can’t get any more mainstream than it currently is. There are websites dedicated to it, there are entire Esports leagues that give away million dollar prizes and companies that sponsor them. So why is it when people discuss books and movies they are essentially high-class art, but video games are still just the ugly stepchild of media and entertainment?
The question is why? They have their own art style much like a movie or even a painting or drawing. They tell stories that are thought out, written and teach lessons just like movies or books, but also sometimes are simply about action and adventure or friendship. However, unlike other forms of media, there is a barrier of entry for all of it. Books and movies won’t tell you no if you aren’t good enough. You can simply look up words you don’t understand for a book or movie. Games, on the other hand, won’t let you advance if you lack the skill to play it. They are designed to make you learn certain skills.
They also have other similarities to other mediums of entertainment and media in that they take a ton of time to create. Some games take years to create and write and have hundreds of people involved. They can be massive undertakings just like a movie. So why are they many times so looked down on?
Well, honestly I think it is because of how new they are. Relatively speaking they are the newest addition to the entertainment realm. Books are thousands of years old and movies over 100 at this point. Video games, however, are young, in fact, my parents remember when you could not buy a home console. There was a time when books were burned because of their contents, hell that still happens. I remember being a kid and being mocked and laughing at because I loved video games and now many of those same people are talking about them daily. So while right now video games aren’t viewed the same I think someday games will be viewed as important and artistic as movies and books. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.