Sudbury·VIDEO GAMES MATTER

Finding art in video games

If you think about your favourite video game, the first thing that may come to mind is the game itself and the goals you want to achieve in it.

If you think about your favourite video game, the first thing that may come to mind is the game itself and the goals you want to achieve in it.

But you may also consider what goes into a game — everything from the technical to the artistic, including graphics, music and the story.

Aaron Langille, a Laurentian University professor who teaches video game design, says it's a balance of art and science.

"Whenever you're dealing with something like video games where the point is to do something fun, we have a lot of guidelines to help get you there but it's not necessarily a science," he said.

"There's definitely some artistry involved."

He says some video games could be considered an art form.

Aaron Langille is a professor of computer science and game design at Laurentian University in Sudbury. (Aaron Langille/Supplied)

"I think we need to be careful we're not calling every video game high art or anything like that," he said.

"I think that the perception of video games as just a fast, consumable entertainment is starting to shift and now video games are tackling some big ideas."

In his class, he references a 2007 game called Bioshock, a first person shooter game.

"In between, there's a really compelling story about morality," he said.

"We use that game a lot to talk about one of the key points where games as an art form sort of started to solidify."

Though not all video games are considered art, Langille says you'll find art in very game.

"You find [art] in the esthetics, you find it in the music but you can also find it in the code," he said.

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