Video games, like most forms of media and technology, have evolved over the years. If one compared the games of today to the games of even ten years ago, one would be amazed at the jumps made in graphics, sound, gameplay, and storytelling. Perhaps the most significant evolutionary change however, is the recent ruling by the National Endowment for the Arts, officially declaring “interactive games” to be an art form. However, with each change comes problems.
FOX News took offense to the ruling and produced a segment attacking both the NEA for their decision, and the idea of games as an art form in general. They brought in the editor-in-chief of the website Icrontic, Brian Ambrozy, to debate the subject with radio host Neal Asbury.
FOX’s problem isn’t so much the fact that games are now considered art, but that as an NEA recognized art form, game development could receive funding from the government. FOX News ran with the assumption that this funding could apply to ALL games, when in reality only non-profit, artistic, or educational games qualify. Fox didn’t know this, which led to them using Call of Duty as a potential example, while also accentuating the violence of the game in the process.
That a game like Call of Duty would never receive government funding isn’t mentioned in the segment, despite Ambrozy’s best attempts to give proper information. All his efforts are quickly shot down by Asbury’s loud speeches, including such comments as, “Obama wanted taxpayer money for video games.” He also joked that the government should, “give taxpayer money to ping-pong players next”.
FOX News seems to have had the video game industry in its sights lately. First, the media giant took aim at Bulletstorm — much to the benefit of the game, according to its developers. More recently, FOX has been criticizing Duke Nukem Forever, based on that game’s multiplayer Capture the Babe mode.
It’s pretty clear that in addressing the NEA ruling, the FOX News anchors had absolutely no idea what they were talking about. They obviously didn’t understand exactly what the ruling by the NEA meant, and instead of offering a reasoned objection just went off on a rant in an attempt to get attention. Unfortunately for gamers, the popularity of FOX News means that this issue will likely garner some mainstream attention, and could potentially cause trouble for the industry.
What are your thoughts? Could this hurt potential game developers looking to make their mark via “artistic games”?
Leave any comments you may have in the section below.
Source: The Escapist