Are Video Games Art?

When answering that question, a lot of people seem to want to compare video games to movies, but I’m increasingly convinced that the most comparable medium is actually comics, which occupy a peculiar place in the pop-art canon somewhere below cinema, but certainly ahead of, say, professional wrestling or reality television: thought of primarily as pulp by many but often (though not always) respected by those in the know, widely known but not really widely read, a great pop art that produces timeless properties but rarely fosters transcendent individual works. Comics are a medium with a lot of filler and a few genuine classics — a medium that, even in its best incarnations, has trouble breaking beyond self-imposed boundaries of tone, style, and subject matter. The same, I think, is true of games. My suspicion is that video games will end up far more popular than comics in terms of the number of people who regularly play them (in fact, this has probably already happened), but that they’ll come to occupy a roughly similar place on the pop-art totem poll.