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Video game that made you first say “this is art”


Aug 21, 2018
Flower is probably the first game I considered art at the time. Now I'd say the first game I played that was art was, well, whatever I played first, so likely Super Mario Bros.
Oct 26, 2017
I always loved playing games but oddly enough the first one I can really remember making me think is actually Conker's Bad Fur Day on the N64.

One of the multiplayer games cut from the xbox version (iirc) was one where some players are arriving on a beach trying to reach a base and the other players are shooting them from base. I loved this game. I don't know if this was intended or just me being young and bad at games but surviving the beach seemed to be just a matter of sheer luck and not much else. I never expected to survive. But it was fun. That's a hard feeling to replicate in other mediums.


Oct 27, 2017
It's a huge love letter to the Shoot'em Up genre. The music, art direction, the story, gameplay make this a masterpiece.
Oct 27, 2017
I don't think I could ever be inclined to say a game is art. Even though they obviously are it just sounds too hoity-toity.


Oct 27, 2017
I know there were several games that made me say "this is amazing" and that I recognized had some kind of deep impact on me (such as Riven, and yeah, TWEWY), but I'm pretty sure the first time I thought about it in terms of "this is art" was when someone said "this isn't art" and it caused me to consciously consider the medium in those terms.


Oct 25, 2017
Either Braid or Machinarium. Here's a post I did a month back delving further into my thoughts on Machinarium.

Fuck Dark Souls. Fuck Ghosts n Ghouls. Fuck I Wanna Be The Guy. You know what the hardest game is? The most challenging, hair-pulling, frustrating, rewarding experience in a video game ever? Machinarium's Tic-Tac-Toe minigame. Good Lord this took me a week straight to beat. That AI opponent was something else.

That aside, I absolutely adored this game. When I was a kid I played all the humungous entertainment point and click games (honorable mention to Spy Fox's Go Fish Minigame. Another impossibly difficult AI whopping your ass in a simplistic hundreds-year-old tabletop game.) and adored them... being born in '94 that was really the only experience I had with true point and click games that came out in my lifespan up until Machinarium. I would have been 14 at the time I first played this. I've loved video games since I was a kid, but I think it was thanks to Machinarium where I first truly began to think critically about video games as a medium of design, an artform, and all that hoity toity stuff. Growind up with Putt-Putt, and now seeing that same gameplay genre in something artful, tasteful, charming, mature... it was eye opening. It clicked in my head that games were on their way towards something special. Something that can't be achieved with movies, music, writing, animation, any of that... it was at the same time none of those things, and all of those things at once. I honestly don't remember much of the game outside of the stunning artwork, being able to extend your body, and tearing my hair out from fucking Tic-Tac-Toe. But Machinarium opened my eyes to the possibilities of this artform. What happens when technical limitations stopped being an immediate concern for developers, and their artistic vision could spring forth to life, unhinged. Damn. I need to play this game again.
quick edit: also forgot about Echochrome! 2008/9 was a very formative year in my thoughts on games.


Nov 1, 2017

Looking back, Jet Set Radio could have been the actual first, but at the time I didn't think something that looked cartoony was really 'artistic'. (Hey, I was young back then)

ICO was the first game that came across as artistic, in that it had something contemplative to say.


Dec 30, 2017
None. Kind of hate the “art” as some legendary label for gaming to get convo. They just are an art form, and like all art there is good art and bad art. I wish more conversation about games artistic merits were less about stories, because those are the least interesting strengths about video games and more about the art of play and what players can do with a set of tools under certain rules.

Learning new systems, applying what you learned to the challenges presented, improving to a point where the game looks n feels dramatically different to the first few hours of you playing. That’s the art.


Mar 27, 2019
Mass Effect 2 when I first walked into the Afterlife club on Omega at the beginning of the game. The music beats, the dark red color, fire animation on the 45-degree angle corridor walls leading to the club itself. It was sci-fi with style. I remember thinking to myself "so this is how a modern video game looks like"... it was 2010 lol


Dec 12, 2018

Maybe Asura's Wrath?

I don't know, I feel like this is a weird answer, but I was so moved by it and I loved the style of it.
Oct 26, 2017
Always thought of it as art, from Super Mario Bros to God of War. You don't need to be cinematic / narrative / character driven nor be all artsy for a game to be considered art. To me, moving around with slick controls is an example of good art within games or the way the music makes you feel, more so than necessarily telling a story


Oct 25, 2017
Art as in art style?

Yoshi's Island on SNES. It stuck out to me even as a kid and you factor that in with the music, just amazing.


Tekken 2. The sequel to Tekken was straight out of a martial art's film but what really did it for me is the whole synchronization of it all. It was the first PS2 game that really made me think "wow what is this system" when I played it. From the graphics, the music, the dope story, everything combined in one made me think "damn, games are like this."

Now, if you're talking about a game that's the top of the top with a lot of different elements whether from story to visual to sound to whatever, just a lot that made you think beyond, at that top tier then I gotta say

The scale of that game with everything implimented into it was unreal. It also talked a lot about what it means to be alive, your destiny and path, just a lot to grasp. Nuff said.


Oct 25, 2017
Damn, it has been ages since I first thought of this game.

I would have been 13 or 14 when I played Facade. To say it had a big influence on my tastes in games and how I view the medium might be an understatement

I am surprised that so few games have tried to tackle the "type your response" concept.


Oct 25, 2017
Fragile Dreams was the first game that really emotionally affected me in multiple ways.

Cat Party

Oct 25, 2017
My first jrpg was 7th Saga on SNES and I think that was the first time time I felt that a game was presenting a story experience that was not possible in any other medium. That is the art inherent in games to me.


Oct 25, 2017
Metal Gear Solid 1 I think. The whole intro and when I first pushed up against a wall and the camera swung around = my mind was blown and I sat there as if I was staring at a painting to fathom it all out. Made me look at games in a different way.


Oct 25, 2017
Metal Gear Solid 1 was for sure the game that let me realize games had the potential to be more than just well... games.


Oct 27, 2017
sonic adventure 1 at the end of gammas story, definitely cried lol

i was like 7 but thats when i knew


Oct 27, 2017
I'm in the art world and never use that word. People are so obsessed with it.
I OFTEN think: Wow, the creativity is just insane in this game. Or the craftsmanship is through the roof. This is SO well made or designed.
Some of those artists are BEYOND talented.
I never think 'This is art". But i genuinely hate the fucking word because it says nothing aside that people are amazed for some reason. There are better ways to express your appreciation imo. More grounded and with more integrity.


Oct 30, 2019
Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (1996). I got the German version in 1997 and was floored by playing a comic. The best adventure game to this day.


Oct 27, 2017
Every game I've ever seen or played is art to me in some way, shape, or form. The earliest games that felt like artistic expressions first and foremost were back on the Apple IIe when I played Karateka and King's Quest, which were both games that stressed convincing visuals, animation, and presentation. But even Pong is art to me.


Oct 25, 2017
The first game I really saw as art was Unfinished Swan it made me think it was art itself. The first game that made me think this could be art was Folklore