For as long as I’ve been playing video games – a shocking thirty years – there has been a discussion over whether the medium can be considered an art form. A large part of this was the assumption by mainstream media that video games are intended for children and so are less than traditional art forms such as film and theatre. History has taught as that all new forms of art must go through this process and spend time in the cultural wilderness – even Shakespeare spent his formative years performing theatre outside of arenas intended for bear-baiting and dog fighting, as theatre was frowned upon and considered the ‘devil’s work’ .
So, it comes as a nice surprise that the Arts and Humanities Research Council has recognised the artistic, cultural and economic importance of video games by establishing a new project dubbed InGame, which will provide £9 million in funding for video game research and development. The project is led by Abertay University and will provide, according to BBC News, a ”space for artists, designers, writers, and business specialists”.
Professor James Livesey, Dean of the School of Humanities at the University of Dundee, told The Courier “This project builds on the world-class expertise in the local universities and will create outstanding opportunities for our students to work with some of the biggest names in the computer games and entertainment industry. It will also be a model for interaction between academia and the creative industries.”