You might be reading that title and taking issue with my saying that. After all, if games can be considered art, then games can have all kinds of themes and expressions that they wouldn't be allowed to have if they were simply a form of entertainment right? Yeah, that's true, but at the same time games being judged as art presents far too many problems and headaches.
I am with each and every one of you that thinks that gaming should be able to explore mature or dark themes. That developers should be allowed to have a vision for a story, characters, setting, or whatever they want and be able to fully explore and realize that vision. So why don't I want games to be art?
The answer is "Because people will forget that games are about fun and escapism."
That's right, they will.
Nowadays a game can't be made without being torn apart by social justice warriors shouting "I'm offended" if someone isn't represented, or is represented in ways they have a problem with. A developer needs to cater his/her vision to the politically correct social agenda of the day, or else said developer will be labelled as homophobic, racist, sexist, misogynist, ageist, genderist, etc.. etc... etc....
A developer makes a fantasy game where a female character has unrealistic proportions and little to no clothing, and somehow that's offensive and impacts real life.
A developer makes a game where a white protagonist kills scores of people who are any other race but white, and that's racist.
You have an RPG with a relationship system set up in it? Better make sure that same sex relationships are an option or you're a homophobe.
Want to make a platformer based on medieval times where a knight saves a princess from a dragon? You can't do that because that's sexist. Who the hell are you to suggest that a woman needs saving from a dragon? Give that princess a sword and let her rescue herself because she doesn't need a man regardless of the fact that he's a trained knight and she's an untrained princess.
Hell, you can't even name a trophy/achievement the way you want to anymore because you'll be castrated online by a volley of hate speech because you're somehow anti *insert special interest group here*
This is why I don't want games to be considered art. Games being considered art opens the floodgates of all the idiot people in the world looking to use the medium for their social justice platform. It opens the door to the people with too much time, and too little self-esteem, to find something to complain about.
The kinds of attacks these developers get over fictional characters or themes designed for entertainment would be considered felonious hate speech if you changed the target from a game developer to a gay person, or a woman, or a non-white man.
It's to the point where leeches can successfully make money off of this trend by playing the victim and claiming "I'm just trying to make all things equal."
So no, I don't want games to be art. I don't want games to be art because in a world of these complaints, games like Skyrim exists where the choice of who you want to be is never better represented, and yet how much do you want to bet that the majority of people that play Skyrim DO NOT play as the virtual representation of what they consider to be the most ideal, non-offensive character to be?
How many of you initiated a man to man same sex marriage in Skyrim, even if you were homosexual yourself? How many of you women fully clothed your female character in Daedric Armor, completely hiding her whole appearance to make her almost entirely nondescript? How many of you instead fall into the traditional archetypes we all see instead?
I don't want games to be art because in a world where games are art, a female artist that designs female characters with the aforementioned unrealistic proportions (and yes, they do exist) get to either hear that they did so because they were forced to, which insults their vision and talent, or are part of the sexism problem, which insults them as people.
I don't want games to be art because games as art seeks to foster shame, artistic oppression, and fear.
How many times are we going to have to see an article written about how this virtual character is sexually objectifying women and is degrading because of it? A fictional character who has no impact on reality.
How many times are we going to have articles written insulting developers from different cultural backgrounds as being "teenage boys" because their designs don't measure up to the politically correct Western bullsh*t ideals that social justice warriors want every single piece of design to live up to?
In a world where games are art, we see less focus on games as escapism and fun. Absolutely none of us started playing video games because we thought they were art. Absolutely none of us started playing videos games looking for Shakespearean storylines (which hilariously would be attacked by social justice warriors if it were written today), characters with more depth to them than any real person ever had, or the darkest of themes.
All of us started gaming because we wanted to do something fun, and gaming looked fun to us. We continued gaming because we continued having fun with it.
Do I want games that explore every possible theme, and can be as dark as any book or movie? Of course I do, but I don't want it at the expense of fun and if I have to accept the ceaseless crying of people placing far too much stock in the impact of fictional worlds and characters.
Games will never truly be considered art unless developers can feel free to express themselves HOWEVER THEY WANT. That means allowing them to have female characters with boobs the size of an exercise ball, men as big as a tank, with themes so dark or disgusting they provoke all kinds of emotions (and you know you've seen movies that are FAR worse than any game in this department), and be able to have all of these things without developers being constantly insulted and attacked because that's what they wanted to put in the game.
Games are games, and they are meant for entertainment first and foremost. They have always been about escapism and fantasy. Stop trying to attach the real world to the fictional worlds and characters of video games.