RightGamer at DominantGenes (RG falls firmly on the opposite side to me, agreeing with Roger Ebert in his assertion that games can never be art) states the following:
Professional painters, musicians and cartoonists are all considered artists regardless of the quality of their pieces and no one would try to dispute this. Now professional game designers and developers are not generally associated with being artists but if the final product truly is a piece of art like some gamers claim, then why not label these people as such?I argued that whilst these above named professions are largely considered artists, I cannot make the same sweeping generalisation about their work. Justin Bieber is most definitely a musical artist, but I would not say his work is art. *Swoosh* That was the sound of a thousand angry tweenage girls all partaking in a sharp intake of breath. I'm also fairly sure that there are a significant number of people who would not consider Tracey Emin's work art, or Jackson Pollock, or Michael Jackson, or Banksy, etc etc. What it boils down to, is that art is an interpretation.
Of course, that means that Ebert and RG are entirely correct - to them gaming cannot be art - their definition doesn't allow it. But to me, gaming can be and is art - Portal is art, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is art, Half-Life 2 is art, heck... Final Fantasy VII is art - these games speak to me on a visceral level, they evoke emotions through characters and visuals which far outstrip the vast majority of paintings and films.
The other option is that art has some existence which is external to those actors involved in its creation. That it somehow pre-exists interpretation. I just cannot bend my brain to consider that there exists anything in our society which has not been created by the people who exist and have existed within it. There is no society external to the actor. So, there is no art external to the actor. Art is something which sits deep within our soul; it is for no-one else to decide on our behalf.