Video games draw plenty of criticism these days. Parents and politicians alike look at video games as a bad thing in society; it's a time sink that prevents families from bonding and schoolwork from getting done, in their eyes. Others view video games as a way to socialize and meet other people, or even make it their career as gaming professional John Wendel, also known as Fatal1ty, has, winning various international tournaments in games like Quake 3 Arena. Other people look at the artistic value of video games, and that is what Henry Jenkins addresses in his article "Art Form for the Digital Age," first appearing in the September 2000 issue of Technology Review.
[...] Jenkins writes that if critics can be harsh about including computer-aided art in a museum, he does not want to think about what critics will say about video games being an art form (204). After he introduces the Seldes piece, he starts to draw parallels between cinema of the past and games of the present. One of those is the art of expressive movement. People notice and recognize these expressive movements all the time in modern movies, and visual expression was a new thing back in 1925. [...]
[...] He mainly uses the parallel between the rise of cinema and the rise of video games and says that what people have seen before is what they are seeing now in video games. Society is at a crossroads, deciding whether to accept video games as viable place filler for real-life action. Many people are questioning video game's viability in society, and Jenkins lays out piece by piece what is going on. He first explains video games' influence in today's society; they have become a hotbed of talk much like cinema of yore (203). [...]
[...] It is not some random person in the street talking about video games, but a distinguished man with several works under his belt. People may wonder why Jenkins is discussing about video games to begin with; they feel that his argument is illegitimate because they do not believe video games are beneficial to society in the first place. They may think video games are just a form of entertainment, meant to appease people on a short-term basis with no real benefit to society. Jenkins, however, disagrees with that notion, noting that video games can be used with great results with children. [...]
[...] By comparing the two arguments, Jenkins reinforces the point that video games are an emerging art form, and all things society considers art has faced this scrutiny before. Foreseeable uses of video games and problems associated with them are what he discusses last. He leaves the reader thought in his mind as to how to approach video games. This last section is vital, as he has already legitimized games after the parallels he draws in the previous sections. He talks about the violence society is exposed to, and that it is up to the parents and developers to come to a medium when it comes to violent video games (206). [...]
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