Are Mobile Games a Form of Art?

By Stephanie Newman
Thursday, January 16, 2014 / Less than a minute read
One of the picturesque screenshots from the iOS game Infinity Blade.

One of the picturesque screenshots from the iOS game Infinity Blade.

In 2012, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) acquired 14 video games for its collection, sparking a heated debate over whether video games qualify as art. Some argued that, with a major museum exhibiting video games, the case had closed: video games would henceforth be considered Art (with a capital A). Others balked at MoMA’s decision and rejected the idea that video games were anything more than entertainment. Still others gave credit to games as design feats, but differentiated design from art. The impassioned debate continues today, with museum acquisitions at the forefront (just last month the Smithsonian acquired Halo 2600 and Flower for Playstation 3).

What about mobile games? Mobile games are sweeping the industry, so naturally, it seems time to apply the same question to this new medium. In 10 years, will MoMA be exhibiting smartphones with Candy Crush Saga on-screen? And if so, how will they determine that mobile games have made the cut?

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