Video Games as Art

Video games have become commonplace in today’s world. There are competitions in which people gather to watch as teams of people play through the games and try to beat one another either in points or in elimination. Youtube channels that have millions of subscribers simply to watch others play games. With this immense fanbase that surrounds gaming as a whole, it is not shocking that video games have been developing in an entirely new way. Artistically.

Now, it is a far cry from what many would see as “traditional art” but with the many generations of art, it is hard to say that it is in no way an art form. From games like Until Dawn (2015) to games like Cuphead (2017), there are so many art styles and so much effort put into creating expansive landscapes and detailed characters.

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Screenshot of Gameplay in Until Dawn (2015)

While many video games are focusing on 3D animation and character modeling there are still some facets of traditional art rearing its head in games, like Cuphead, which has many watercolor backgrounds that had been hand-painted, and hand-drawn characters that have each facial expression, pose and more drawn by hand. It’s amazing, what digital art has come to and what it can create in video games. It makes art appreciation an entirely new experience due to the fact that it is essentially living art. Within the game previously mentioned, Until Dawn, the characters can interact with the environment. The wind blows, moving the trees in the background, the light source illuminates different aspects of the setting, it transports the player (or the viewer) into the scene.

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Screenshot of Gameplay in Cuphead (2017)

Needless to say, there are hundreds of games with varying styles and themes, but it is always fascinating to watch as the art styles of these games develop. From the pixel-based games (i.e Mario and Pacman) to games such as the ones discussed here, it’s phenomenal and definitely something to draw inspiration from or to aspire to create in the future.

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