Video game geeks unite, the U.S. Government has officially recognized video games as a legitimate art form. The Smithsonian Institution (America’s national museum) and the National Endowment for the Arts are introducing programs that honor and even fund the creation of video games – as art!
For its part, the Smithsonian is busy planning a huge exhibition devoted to video games. Meanwhile, the NEA will be offering an avenue for aspiring game designers who are dying to make great video games and ready to get started once they find some working capital.
Video Games as Art?
The whole debate about video games as an art form kicked off in 2006 after movie critic Roger Ebert served on a discussion panel considering the question, “Can video games be art?”
The famous critic voted “thumbs-down,” prompting a firestorm of reaction from video game fans – most notably Clive Barker, British horror novelist and writer/director of “Hellraiser.” Since then, the question just won’t die. The issue keeps haunting Ebert, who has addressed reader comments repeatedly at his web site, usually defending his original position while being absolutely swamped with responses that disagree with him. Now important new voices have entered the debate, and they side squarely with video gamers.
From March 2012 through September 2012, the Smithsonian Institution will host an exhibition – the first ever Smithsonian event to pay tribute to video games – “The Art of Video Games,” will showcase 80 classic games, including such gems as the NES classics, “The Legend of Zelda” and “Super Mario Bros. 3.”
Meanwhile, the NEA has confirmed that would-be video game makers will be eligible to apply for government grants in order to make their art, in the same way a painter or sculptor (or any artist) would apply for an NEA grant. This could be a real breakthrough development for anyone aspiring to become a video game designer. It means that in addition to finding a creative path through the established video game industry, now game-making hopefuls have yet another shot at finding the funding to help them make their dreams come true.
So what kind of money are we talking about here? Grants range from $10,000 all the way up to $200,000, but there are eligibility requirements so be prepared to work for it.
Of course, funding is only one of the factors that go into making a great game. It takes talent and training. Computer and tech summer camps like Digital Media Academy offer professional courses or summer camp options that can help develop your talent. DMA’s 3D Academy for 3D Game Design gives you hands-on experience with software used by industry game creators and one-on-one contact with leading industry innovators – video game designers and developers for companies like Electronic Arts, Midway, Activision and others.
World-class instruction from professionals can help you learn the art of video game development. Are video games your passion today? Then make them your profession tomorrow and start raising your skills to a whole new level – and turn your video game ideas into art!
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