Are Games Art? | Brenda Romero | TEDxGalway - revartsgaming.com

Are Games Art? | Brenda Romero | TEDxGalway

TEDx Talks
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As cultural objects, games date back to at least 3000 BC, and video games date back to 1958. This talk explores the reasons that games are indeed an art form and perhaps the greatest art form of all.

Brenda Romero is an award-winning game designer, artist and Fulbright scholar who entered the video game industry in 1981. As a designer, she has contributed to many seminal titles, including the Wizardry and Jagged Alliance series and titles in the Ghost Recon and Dungeons & Dragons franchises.

Away from the machine, her analog series of six games, The Mechanic is the Message, has drawn national and international acclaim, particularly Train and Síochán Leat (The Irish Game) which is presently housed in the National Museum of Play.

In 2015, she won the coveted Ambassador’s Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards. In 2014, she received a Fulbright award to study Ireland’s game industry, academic and government policies. In 2013, she was named one of the top 10 game developers by Gamasutra.com and Develop magazine listed her among the 25 people who changed games in 2013. Romero co-owns Romero Games based in Galway.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

89 Comments

  1. Life is strange is the most artistic game I have ever played.

  2. Why the some art these days yeah i think a video games are more artistic then a blue painting with a white line or some fish that are different sizes. Not to mention thier cheaper.

  3. but do you know what really is the epitome of art? dota 2

  4. Depends on the game. Limbo? Yes. GTA5? Maybe. Fortnite? No.

  5. yes they art.

    Thank you for coming to my TED talk

  6. Play the last of us and bada min bada boom there’s your awnser

  7. What is closer to art than something that allows you to experience another reality?

  8. OKAMI. now THATS a videogame that is pure art ecstasy!

  9. One of the best video game I've ever experienced as an art form is: Red Dead Redemption 2.
    The others are up there in my opinion are: Last of Us and The walking Dead S1.

  10. Anyone who argues that they aren't, play Silent Hill 2 and ask yourself that same question. Play a visual novel, JRPG, or a crafted platformer like Hollow Knight. The level of cohesive art direction in some video games is well on-par with cinema and even exceeds it at times. There are stories you can never tell in any other medium. It's not only an art form, but one of the most immersive and engaging ones at that.

  11. If there is a way I can convince my mum that games are art then it's this. She said that the only reason Notch made Minecraft is for money

  12. I just played the witness, already know the answer

  13. Not only are Video Games Art, they are far superior to any other existing art forms

  14. 7:36 …unless you're Russian, Turk, Pole or Brazilian. (NOTE – this is a joke)

  15. You can say what you want, but Bioshock 1 IS art.

  16. No one can tell you what art is but your self. If you want call something art then its art to you

  17. Play the last of Us, and tell me that you don't feel something. Play rdr2, and tell me it's not a literary masterpiece. Play The Witcher 3, and tell me it's not one of the best fantasy-epic stories. Play God of War 4, and tell me you don't care about the characters. Play Spec Ops: The Line, and tell me that it doesn't portray a deeper meaning.

    You can't. If you consider movies an art form, games are just as legitimate. Often portraying the same messages, sometimes better.

  18. Short answer: Yes
    Long answer:YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES

  19. Brendaaaa :DDD
    love your ted talks <3333

  20. Abzu, journey, dead cells, there are literally games FOR ppl that that want vibrant art.

    When companies want to figure out how the environments/characters/ enemies will look they will literally draw CONCEPT ART. Then they have to SCULPT 3D MODELS to put in the game!!!!!!!

    yes games are objectively art and it CANNOT be said otherwise.

  21. People who don't think video games are art are the same who think video games are all about points, collectibles and levels. It's like saying "Transformers is just a cliched money making fodder entertainment hence all films are not art". Kinda outrageous.

  22. Yes they are dum dum now guys help me build my logo set >:(

  23. The question isn’t what video games are, but it’s what art is.

  24. Play Castlevania Symphony of the Night , then, you will have your awnser

  25. I bet noone has the guts to Play NieR:Automata and say videogames are not art.
    salve guilherme

  26. Random boomer games aren't art
    Me: Play Bioshock, dark souls, rdr1, rdr2, gow 2018, you, Majora's mask, ocarina of time, witcher 3, sotc, bloodborne, tlou, breath of the wild, walking dead season 1, demon souls, hollow knight, mass effect trilogy if you don't think videogames aren't art after this you are not human

  27. Games are Art but Game Developers aren't Artists. They're too obedient to the companies they work for to be thought of as artists. If a company employed teams of Painters to paint paintings but they were told to follow the general narrative and never rock the boat and they acquiesced to that (acquiesced is probably a generous word here) you wouldn't really think of them as artists. You'd just think of them with people with a skill.

  28. The last of us one and even two are two different type of art

  29. Future me: ARE GAMES ART?!
    [Existentialism grabs future me]
    Future me: WHO AM IIIIIIIII?!?!

  30. Obviously the choices in games are there because the developer put them there, but why is the audience having choice is a bad thing in the first place? Why only the artist should have agency? Why artistic experience can be determined by only the artist? These ideas are elitist and flawed. Just remove them, and games can definitely be art if that is intended by the designer.

  31. It’s a shame she has to use 2D side scrollers and World of Warcraft. Because the modern pieces of art that can take your breath away, like Dark Souls, Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: World at War, and Bioshock, and Minecraft. Are a bit too advanced for the boomers she’s trying to communicate with.

  32. It’s difficult. It’s easy to see a singleplayer game like RDR2 or The Witcher 3 as pieces of art, but looking at games like League of Legends and CS:GO, are they art or are they sports, or both?

  33. coucou a ceux qui check pour le concour d'ISART

  34. I'm going to argue here that not all games are, in fact, art. Just as not every photograph, drawing, book, movie, or song is art. But, that doesn't take away the fact that games, artistic games, are probably the most expressive and complex and advanced form of art because games can be a blend of those other artworks and use them to convey an even more immersive experience.

  35. There being no more technical limitations is a really good justification for it being art. Regardless it was always art even back when that was a problem. That's like saying chiptune music isn't art because it uses 8bit style music

  36. Play OMORI if you think games can't be art, smh smh

  37. Denier: Games are not art
    Me: Go experience Metal Gear Solid 2, and have a look at our current world

  38. Without art there will not be any games

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