Video Games Are One of the Most Important Art Forms in History

Chris Melissinos
Getty Images; Photo illustration by Alex Thebez for TIME

They’re the only medium that allows for personalizing the artistic experience

Question Everything Icon

I believe that video games will prove to be one of the most important mediums of art that humanity has ever had at its disposal.

Technology has expanded the canvas upon which artists are able to paint and tell their stories. As an art form that has only existed in the digital space, video games are truly a collision of art and science. They include many forms of traditional artistic expression—sculpture in the form of 3D modeling, illustration, narrative arcs, and dynamic music—that combine to create something that transcends any one type.

Video games are also the only form of media that allows for personalizing the artistic experience while still retaining the authority of the artist. In video games we find three distinct voices: the creator, the game, and the player. Those who play a game are following the story of the author and are bound by the constructs of the rules—but based on the choices they make, the experience can be completely personal. If you can observe the work of another and find in it personal connection, then art has been achieved.

Our kids are growing up in a world where they’re finding equally meaningful connection on both sides of the digital line. Video games are a natural evolution of what we’ve always done, play—to discover our world, discover each other, and discover ourselves.

Melissinos is director of corporate strategy for media and entertainment at Verizon and curated “The Art of Video Games” exhibit at the Smithsonian.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at