The Case for Video Games

The Case for Video Games

Video Games are fun, but are they art? Heck yes. We explore the history and present of video games and what sets them apart as a means of artistic expression. To learn about many other alternative means of expression, preorder a copy of You Are An Artist:
#videogames #gaming #videoart

Thanks to our Grandmasters of the Arts Tyler Calvert-Thompson, Divide by Zero Collection, David Golden, and Ernest Wolfe, and all of our patrons, especially Rich Clarey, Iain Eudaily, Tom Forwood, Patrick Hanna, Andrew Huynh, Eve Leonard, David Moore, Jane Quale, Gabriel Civita Ramirez, Constance Urist, Nicholas Xu, and Roberta Zaphiriou. To support our channel, visit:

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  1. Raph Doval-Santos on April 1, 2020 at 7:27 am

    Thank you! I am delighted by this video! 🙂

  2. Bünyamin Özkaya on April 1, 2020 at 7:27 am

    What i really love about this Channel is that you always try to see the Art behind everything. Thank you for your being an open-minded inspiration

  3. Wyatt Skaggs on April 1, 2020 at 7:27 am

    OK Boomer.

  4. whistlegraph on April 1, 2020 at 7:30 am

    wow video games seem really cool maybe i will try one!

  5. Ben B on April 1, 2020 at 7:30 am

    How about going into modern illustration, comic art, conflicts between modern political correct/social justice of ‘mainstream’ companies and indie/comicsgate of the opposition. Also comic art vs ‘fine art’ – including how Lichenstein ripped off comic art but got backed up in court even though he was essentially copying…?

  6. KingMayuke on April 1, 2020 at 7:31 am

    this is like a high school essay lmao

  7. Vulane Mthembu on April 1, 2020 at 7:31 am

    The Art Assignment is one of the very best channels on Youtube. I am glad they finally made a ‘case for’ video for Video games.

  8. ericsmusic1234 on April 1, 2020 at 7:34 am

    I feel like another example that is easy for people who aren’t so inclined to see videogames as art is Occupy White Walls, such an amazing art-centric game

  9. 33ranjit on April 1, 2020 at 7:35 am

    The video helped me put a finger on why I keep coming back to Art Asignment videos and why they move me so much. The topics are interesting and accessibly presented, sure. But the main appeal for me is the deep compassion and kindness that Sarah’s videos convey. It’s a way of looking at the world and especially at what humans do and experience that does not shirk mentioning problems and challenges, but never ridicules or degrades others. In a way the Art Asignment videos are exercises in consciously experiencing human dignity; in others and ourselves. So thank you Sarah and all the others who contrinbute to the videos. I can only aspire to cultivate such an open and wholesome mindset.

  10. Jesse Green on April 1, 2020 at 7:36 am

    When thinking back on what games have had a disproportionate impact on me the one that immediately comes to mind is Stanley Parable. Most games tbh fall within the same feeling without much artistic happening but every so often a game immediately feels artistic and that makes the whole experience seem so much less predictable.

  11. Leung Polly on April 1, 2020 at 7:36 am

    I was looking forward to nier automata’s mention, great video though!

  12. Olivia Pedroza on April 1, 2020 at 7:37 am

    This video made me redownload monument valley, thank you

  13. Pablo Chamber on April 1, 2020 at 7:38 am

    I love the idea of the art assignments! Great job bringing interaction and learning to your channel and viewers! That’s the type of content I love!

  14. Mavoc on April 1, 2020 at 7:39 am

    To whoever was in charge of choosing which b-roll to use to match up with the narration, you did a phenomenal job.

  15. Arukou on April 1, 2020 at 7:39 am

    I’ve been thinking for some time about "The case for" series, and the complex ways it opens of facets of art that are often easily boxed down into flat-descriptors. For my own part, I’ve been thinking especially about what a "The case for restoration" might look like (not the least of which because I’ve been watching painting restoration videos as a calming mechanism in a time of great uncertainty.) I feel this is a fascinating subject that could potentially open up many avenues. The most famous point of entry would of course be Mona, but why do we talk about restoring her and not, for instance, the Winged Victory of Samothrace. When the Rothko was vandalized at the Tisch, there was no question it should be restored. But on the flip side what of Fallingwater, which was structurally unstable from the get-go? I watched this video weeks ago, but the thought hasn’t left me since.

  16. Obi-Wan Kenobi on April 1, 2020 at 7:41 am

    I’ve got a case for video games right here!

    *Taps plastic container for hard copy of Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga on the Xbox 360*

    This is all the proof I need!

  17. blarblablarblar on April 1, 2020 at 7:41 am

    There was a game released in ~2016 titled ‘NieR: Automata,’ which I am convinced is groundbreaking. The game designers managed to do something that is only possible through the video game medium and in such a powerful way that I recommend it to everyone. It has its flaws, but the five main endings together are so beautiful that I can’t help but to feel incredibly emotional just remembering the moment I decide, no.

  18. futurestoryteller on April 1, 2020 at 7:42 am

    That’s some impressive research, you can’t even really tell that you don’t play games, especially alongside that editing.

    I will say one line reminded me that some games are _extremely_ bad at pacing, even really popular ones. Particularly Grand Theft Auto. Sleeping Dogs was much better at this. One second it was "SHOOTOUT!" the next it was "Go hang with this dude at the club."

  19. Celestial Sitcom on April 1, 2020 at 7:42 am

    i must have missed something because there’s NO way minecraft and undertale weren’t mentioned even once in this whole video, right?

  20. Andrew Anderson on April 1, 2020 at 7:45 am

    Kid shows this video to mom…
    See mom!!

  21. Austin Marroquin on April 1, 2020 at 7:45 am

    No one noticed how they labeled Call of duty: Black ops 4 as Call of duty: Modern Warfare?…..

  22. 『InvaderHawk』 on April 1, 2020 at 7:46 am

    Oh hell yeah, Dinklebot!

  23. لوكا العاب on April 1, 2020 at 7:53 am

    Can help me to share my video game my son and sapscrip

  24. A rabbit on April 1, 2020 at 7:57 am

    Also, Games can also have so much to say, like gone home or celeste. These Games have so much to say about complex issues.

  25. Yara Helal on April 1, 2020 at 7:58 am

    I’ve been playing video games almost my whole life. Some of my earliest memories, besides my parents’ younger faces, are of Pokemon. This medium has formed such a massive part of who I am as a person, and it gets exhausting, having to defend its legitimacy as an art all the time. I’ve never thought about starting a new game as an act of bravery, and it really got to me when you said that. Thank you so much for this video. It expresses why video games matter as a storytelling platform and art form so so well.

  26. Youknownachocheese on April 1, 2020 at 7:58 am

    dang wish she touched on stanley parable

  27. Zer0Spinn on April 1, 2020 at 7:59 am

    Great video. Gamergate was an inside job, but great video.

  28. ElskaBa on April 1, 2020 at 8:03 am

    As a casual gamer I kind of already knew video games are a form of art, however, you touched on so many aspects I’d never really considered to be a part of video games’ artistry such as collaboration and finding order in new games. I really loved this video, so after lurking for a bit I’m finally subscribing!

  29. Sepp GW on April 1, 2020 at 8:03 am

    I am deeply appreciative of this video. As someone who has been playing video games their entire life, it means a lot that y’all made this. Gaming has had such a huge impact on my life, I don’t know who I would be without it and the credibility that it gives to the idea of video games as an art form is really validating. Thank you.

  30. Arta on April 1, 2020 at 8:04 am

    Great video, for the longest time I want to explore the topic – art in gaming. If you think of making art accessible to many, what better way than that?

  31. Kevin Hawkins on April 1, 2020 at 8:04 am

    Could you make a steam curator list of great art games to check out?

  32. Florbengorben on April 1, 2020 at 8:04 am

    I’m glad you mention What Remains of Edith Finch, but I wish you would’ve shown it a bit more. That game deserves so much more recognition than I think it’s gotten and remains a remarkable testament to the human mind and the vast complexities of family arrangements. That game is as equally tragic as it is immersive and I urge everyone to play it at least once in their lives.

  33. Vlad Barbieru on April 1, 2020 at 8:04 am

    The one decent thing Scalia did I guess.

  34. Adam Mendenhall on April 1, 2020 at 8:07 am

    Art is for everyone, eccept those who will not accept the challenge.

  35. Kidillusion Of The Darkness Flame on April 1, 2020 at 8:07 am

    Your mom

  36. blarblablarblar on April 1, 2020 at 8:10 am

    Beautiful video, clear and concise with wonderful choices for gameplay footage.

  37. Crushi .Music, Art & Love. on April 1, 2020 at 8:11 am

    🧡 💛 💚 💙 💜 🖤 Crushi Original Music Channel

  38. Channel Czarovski on April 1, 2020 at 8:12 am years ago, my undergrad thesis argued video games are art. i won best thesis & some of the speedpaints are on my channel.

  39. Uddhav Labde on April 1, 2020 at 8:12 am

    Loved it

  40. burdine estep on April 1, 2020 at 8:13 am

    Should have delved into the limited palette 1+0’s available to the artists, who "paint" the art in video games.

  41. Arbitrary Chemistry on April 1, 2020 at 8:13 am

    Great analysis and perspective. Thanks for this. 🙏

  42. D'Jaziko on April 1, 2020 at 8:16 am

    I just had an aha moment for my future career as an art history professor and researcher involving video games! Oh!

  43. Tim Mallette on April 1, 2020 at 8:16 am

    I walk past that UNM art gallery every day! I was so excited to see it!

  44. DarklordofDOOM57 on April 1, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Can somebody recommend me the best, story-based games, particularly those with choices that impact the narrative? A casual gamer looking to expand his horizons here.

  45. Chris Frank on April 1, 2020 at 8:23 am

    Excuse me, I need to fire up my N64 now.

  46. Andres b on April 1, 2020 at 8:24 am

    Love the video. Still I don’t think games are art in the traditional sense. They are closer to board games and sports than to a painting or a play. Notice how many of them art games imitate cinema? This are the lesser games .Interactive movies like Telltale games and Life is Strange. Or action games with cinematics inserted in them like Metal Gear and Last of Us. Games are at their best when the do their own thing rather than ape the movie industry. Like Minecraft, Street Fighter or Tetris. Videogames can make you feel something without the need of a protagonist. The thrill of discovery in Zelda or Terraria, the humillation of defeat in Mortal Kombat and Dark Souls YOU are the one feeling this, not the character.

  47. &* on April 1, 2020 at 8:24 am

    educational games,…. ew

  48. Isabel Song on April 1, 2020 at 8:25 am

    I LOVE Monument Valley. It’s just so beautiful and moving 🥺

  49. JoJo on April 1, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Great video! However, something *VERY* important was missing from it. I’m imagining a giant billboard in the middle of the sky, and the person who wrote the script for this video was looking all around them for reasons why video games are a valid medium for high art. The looked to the left and saw "values". They looked to the right and saw "narrative." They looked behind them and saw "beauty". But they forgot to look upwards at that giant billboard in the middle of the sky, which read, "learning".

    I could just end this comment here, but why not go on a rant?

    To understand why learning is so vital to games, it’s important to understand formal systems. A formal system can be anything from organic chemistry to Sudoku to songwriting. In short, a formal system is a collection of interconnected concepts that are abstracted and formed into symbols. All games (not just video games, and questionably all art as well) take place within a formal system. Some games, like The Sims, emphasize playful exploration of a formal system. Other games, like chess, emphasize completing concrete goals (e.g., winning). As the player *learns* and develops a deeper and deeper understanding of the formal system, they make progress or get better at the game. In my view, the ability of a game to facilitate this type of learning is the primary factor that determines whether the game is fun to play.

    In short, games are about everything that was mentioned in this video, and all these things were very well said. But even more so, games are, fundamentally at their core, safe spaces for learning.

    EDIT: Last month I went to a Michel Angelo exhibit where I live. I can’t help but wonder if the reason I was so compelled by his paintings was because I was exploring a formal system by gawking at his art. Although I don’t think that aesthetic beauty and emotional depth can be fully explained using the model described above, it is, nonetheless, an amazingly flexible model that applies seemingly to all areas in life (which is a red flag in of itself!)

  50. Thomas on April 1, 2020 at 8:26 am

    This and touching, and I’m sure it gives piece of mind to every young chap that’s been told they’re wasting their life in front of the Nintendo.

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