Why are there no elitist video games?
Ernest Adams at Gamasutra asked the question, “Why are there no highbrow video games?”
He goes on for about 4 pages about how video games, as an art form, lack the “elite form” that every other medium has. Blah blah blah…
An interesting article, I guess, if he was even remotely correct. The conjecture that there is no highbrow video game beyond what Sid Meier and Will Wright poop out is completely wrong. In fact, I’d argue that neither one of those guys has released anything revolutionary or “highbrow” since the mid to late 90′s. Spore may be an exception. We’ll see.
The author of the article apparently missed the depth of Half-life 2′s post-apocalyptic dystopia. Or what about Katamari Damacy’s simple, effervescent, yet ultimately selfish King? And the epic, far-reaching Halo space opera is comparable to the best movies of that genre. I guess if you’re some kind of gaming elitist that for whatever reason rejects potentially “highbrow” fare merely because it’s popular, you might miss out on these titles.
But then again, I don’t want video games compared to movies, because movie critics almost invariably hate sci-fi. Serenity being a notable exception. But Serenity was about as “light” and “pop” as Half-Life 2.
So, if you have to ask why there are no highbrow video games, just remember that Kennedy Center awards are great and all, but besides a bunch of hoity-toity full of themselves aristocrats, no one cares whether or not Gabe Newell gets some meaningless award in front of the President. Most likely, the President will be playing Brain Age on his DS, anyway.