According to polled data from YouGov (an international internet-based market research firm based in the UK), 61% of the public do not consider games art.
As mentioned by the article, games have now started outstripping other forms of entertainment, like music and film, and even have prestigious award shows. This, however, doesn’t seem to impress the polled members as many rate it as without artistic merit.
The breakdown of the statistics is that video games are the only entertainment form which is not generally considered artistic. In the polling data, Theatre came out ahead at 88% believing it could be considered art; following that, film came in at 77%; TV came in at 45%, although tenuously close to not being considered art with 43% rating it as not art; and finally video games, with only 27% believing they are legitimate art form.
The study goes further and breaks down the results by age group as well. Surprisingly, in no age group do the game as art crowd come out ahead in the can/can’t be art argument. There is a noticeable disparity between age groups though – younger age groups 18 – 24 and 25 – 39 have larger percentages of polled members believing games are art, at 38% and 40% respectively. In contrast, the older age groups, 40 – 59 and 60+ only have miniscule percentages of 24% and 14% in favour.
If I had to give an analysis of these skewed figures, I’d say as a still relatively young art form, games – although well received – have not yet earned their artistic credentials in the eyes of the general public. This could be because most people have only been exposed to certain kinds of games, or maybe they still see them as a meaningless past-time indulged in by kids, or maybe they are unaware of the huge artistry and creativity put into making even a simple game. Whatever the reason is, one promising thing to take away from this is that a significant amount of young adults see the merit of games, which will only increase as time goes on.