Last night at the Academy Awards, a silent film won best picture. Michel Hazanavicius's The Artist, a movie about silent film star George Valentin, is itself a classic silent film—for the most part, it has no sound effects or dialogue, just music and on-screen action.
Several new video games like the Move-enabled competitive game Johann Sebastian Joust and the audio-only shooter Swamp have eschewed graphics entirely. As The Artist reminded us, a film does not need spoken dialogue to qualify as a film. These new games raise a similar question: Despite the "video" in the moniker, do video games really need graphics?