The debate of whether video games should be considered art is still hotly contested. How can an interactive form of entertainment such as a video game be called art? It seems that it would be much like calling tic-tac-toe or solitaire a form of art as well. However, it is not the playing of the video game that should be up for consideration, but rather the game itself.
With many of today’s video games, it can be difficult to distinguish the setting from the area it is based on. For example, in playing any of the Assassin’s Creed series games, the cities and building are so incredibly life-like that the gamer almost has to think he’s there. The original builders of these cities are (and if they aren’t. should be) considered artists in every sense of the word, so why not the remediators that created these structures within video games? It is arguably every bit as challenging to create 15th century Italy in a video game as it was to build it the first time. Yet we call the the latter designers “artists” while the former remain only designers.
One’s argument could be that these designers did not originally create this setting but copied it from the real artists, and therfore are not artists themselves. This is nonsense. Throughout history, artists have redone the works of previous artists, often in different forms (such as paintings of wood-prints, and vice versa), and both works are still considered art. How is the case of video games any different? Furthermore, many video game designers create worlds entirely of their own imagination, and create them with such detail and care that they too could pass for real.
For all this, video game designers are too talented (usually) and have worked more than enough to deserve the title of “artists.” Their form of art is judged by many of the same characteristics that other forms of art are, in many cases combining the crtieria for several forms (i.e. novels, architecture, etc.) and still qualifying as masterpieces.