Video Games and Timeless Art

I consider video games to be art on the same level as paintings, music, novels or films. I know this is a little controversial and some people wouldn’t even consider all of those things “true art” but I think that perspective is too restrictive and perhaps even snobbish. But I tend to think of art as something which is likely to stand the test of time and be as enjoyable on the day of its creation as it will be a hundred years in the future.
    To take a classic novel that I read recently as an example: Jude the Obscure was a fantastic book. It made me feel a range of emotions, highlighted society injustices of its day and was something which I generally enjoyed reading. Being a hundred and twenty years old, it’s something which has easily stood the test of time. Perfect. But you see, video games are starting to make me question that. Does something really need to stand the test of time in order to be art? I’ve recently been playing Nintendo’s new game Splatoon. It’s very fun, has a beautiful soundtrack and excellent urban scenery, there’s a cleverly crafted world and you could even say that it challenges our society; your character can change gender at any time and nobody is at all bothered by that. But a big part of why I love Splatoon it its online multiplayer mode; I’d be lucky if that will still be here in ten years’ time, let alone a hundred and twenty!
    Does this mean that Splatoon is not a work of art? No; it means that my definition of ‘art’ was too rigid. I realise that art, at its heart, is about beauty, and beauty has nothing to do with time. A snowflake only exists for a very short time, but is still beautiful. Similarly, art can exist for only a very short time and still be art. Video games are not the only examples of this, either. I’m reminded of the live storytelling performances by Anthony Nanson that I have seen; they’re gone as soon as they’re over and a little different every time, but they, too, are art. In order to not exclude any truly wonderful pieces of work, I think the definition of art always needs to be constantly changing, rather than new things needing to fit an old definition.
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