The great debate of our medium of choice has raged for quite some time now: are video games art? Can video games be art? Should they even try to be? Roger Ebert has most notoriously declared no, that in spite of his inexperience with video games, they cannot be art. Earlier in the year, the Smithsonian discredited him, with its upcoming “Art of Video Games” exhibit and now the Federal Endowment for the Arts is doing the same.
For the fiscal year 2012, the Federal Endowment for the Arts is expanding its category The Arts on Radio and Television to become The Arts in Media.This new category encompasses art delivered via satellite, over the internet, through mobile devices, and now includes “digital games.” You can apply for a federal grant here to develop, produce, or nationally distribute your work.
After more than three decades, I think it’s safe to say video games have passed the “fad” phase and are now becoming a substantial area of historical pop culture. I personally can’t wait to see what new initiatives like the Smithsonian and the Federal Endowment spring up next.