BACKGROUND: the intent of the article is to draw up a video game poster. A manifest must and not only to describe correctly but to finally enhance our wonderful passion, which I too often feel and see diminished by the general opinion. To do it in the best way I will need many lines, so if you don't have the time or the desire to read them all come back later, your attention is important. Let's start.
What is a video game?
To try to answer correctly, we must first ask ourselves another question: what is art?
It is very difficult to establish with certainty. To make the answer as right as possible, let's start by limiting ourselves to listing the disciplines that have always been considered among the main forms of art: literature, music, visual arts. Poems, stories, intertwining notes, a painted (and unpainted) landscape: art, up to here we are. But now let's try to answer in more detail, let's try to identify its essence. The debates on what art really is and what it should be used for have been going on for centuries, even if the main positions continue to be substantially two: there are those who affirm that art should aim exclusively at the search for absolute BEAUTIFUL (end in itself itself), and those who are convinced that the form should not be preferred at the expense of the content, which must have a didactic and useful purpose. A third, more "modern" position, shared by me, is limited in a generic way to considering as art whatever generates an emotion.
To recap: art is visible, readable, listenable and must be at least Beautiful, or useful or exciting.
Now we can better approach the first question: what is a video game?
Certainly is literature: many video games (see Metro 2033, Final Fantasy, Bioshock and of course The Witcher) are based on well-made novels by equally excellent writers, from which they then come up with scripts and dialogues. For the original stories, however, real "professionals" are hired, also called authors or screenwriters, who deal solely and exclusively with inventing and curating the plot.
Surely it is music: soundtracks have become so important that they are considered distinctive traits of a videogame, so much so that they are commissioned to already established artists such as Trent Reznor, Korn, Jose Gonzalez.
Now, thanks to the great advances in graphics, it is certainly also visual art. If you don't believe me, I challenge you to admire a landscape from The Witcher 3 or a screenshot from Fallout 4 without being amazed.
It is certainly useful: with untranslated games, you can learn the meaning and pronunciation of so many strange foreign words. In addition, as in every story, there is often a moral or teaching.
That it is beautiful and exciting, well, this I believe cannot be questioned. What else could millions and millions of people paste onto their screens, thrilling and engaging them? Only those who have never been interested in this world could deny it. Tastes permitting, of course, which in any case must include respect (if I don't like dance, that's not why I shouldn't recognize its deserved value). Both for those who judge without ever having tried and for those who did not like after doing it, I would recommend titles like Red Dead Redemption, Starcraft, LA Noire, inFamous, Metal Gear Solid, Kingdom Hearts. You would be able to grasp the emotion and the beauty I am talking about.
In addition to video games, there is a unique feature of its kind: the complete and total immersion in what you are doing, feeling, seeing. The level of impersonation present in video games is unattainable, no other activity allows one to "experience" an adventure in this way (the live RPGs have been removed). The video game is probably the definitive multisensory experience.
Let us not forget, then, of the magnificent opportunities offered by the multiplayer. The opportunity to meet and socialize with people from all over the world is interesting as well as fantastic. Each of us has joy and nostalgia with memories of beautiful moments past online with dear friends known on the net.
Well, I think I said everything. Finally we can pronounce the final verdict with confidence, honesty and decision. Gentlemen, THE VIDEO GAME IS ART.
Having established this, no one denies the presence, as in all the arts, of poor products. However, this cannot and must not lead to contempt for the art in question. If there are "artists" like Gue Pequeno and kids who only play FIFA, we certainly can't blame either music or video games.
At the end of this long and tortuous article, I hope not only to have made gamers even more proud, but to have killed some stupid and unfair prejudice against this wonderful art. However, always keep in mind one last thing: we tend to judge what we do not understand, which often coincides with what we do not know. Beware then of those who hate judgment on any subject: they probably do not even know what they are talking about.