While the gaming industry has it’s own version of the illustrious Oscar awards in the form of The Game Awards most people view it as more of an advertising platform that doesn’t come with the recognition and praise that the original awards ceremony is stated to hold. It can be difficult then to ask yourself that if gaming is to be taken as seriously as films in the perspective of them being considered works of art then why shouldn’t a video game take part in and win at the Oscars?
When people ask me the main difference between a game and a movie my immediate response would be interactivity. With a movie the actions of the plot are driven by characters while as in a game the story is driven by the actions of the person controlling the player character. This is the case in every single game and not just those that pride themselves on stating they have open narratives and focus upon ‘player choice’. However this allows some stories to bond with individuals far more than any movie can due to their personal involvement in the plot and the interactions of the characters and as such is why I generally prefer them over movies. Some games too have absolutely incredible stories that due to the unique medium they are told through could never truly be replicated successfully through a film adaptation. Some examples I can think of are Lisa: The Painful and Enderal which are both indie projects that the wider populace are not too familiar with. These stories could easily match and even surpass that of many films released and their unique game natures makes them far more personally engaging to boot.
So why should games be excluded from being celebrated as works of art in the same vain as films? Yes I am aware that the Oscars is a movie-only event and thus games would be exempt regardless but this is more of a discussion of the wider implications of celebrating games as an art form to directly compete with the film industry. The general populace would not see gaming as art or capable of expressing interesting and engaging stories but would see films as perfectly capable of doing so, and don’t get me started on art snobs who would see games as simply mindless entertainment for children. Art is a subjective medium and all aspects of expressing art should be taken into consideration no matter if they are shown in a cinema or displayed through the lens of a computer screen. Games should win awards with the same recognition as the Oscars, they are just as equal to films.
That’s all for now, and as always. It’s not just a game, It’s a Life.