In his latest 'Designer's Notebook' question, veteran columnist Ernest Adams asks a very simple question: are video games' lack of cultural credibility partly due to the fact that "we don’t have any highbrow games"?
Adams goes on to suggest:
"Almost every other entertainment medium has an élite form. Books have serious literature, the kind that wins Pulitzer and Nobel prizes. Music has classical music—not just popular favorites like Beethoven and Mozart, but other forms that are less familiar and less easy to love: twelve-tone music and grand opera. Dance? Ballet, obviously. TV, the most relentlessly proletarian medium of them all, still manages to devote a handful of channels to science, history, and the arts. (Science, history, and the arts aren’t really highbrow, but programming executives certainly think they are.)...
Like comic books, games have no elite form or widely-venerated body of work yet. We produce light popular entertainment, and light popular entertainment is trivial, disposable, and therefore culturally insignificant, at least so far as podunk city councilors and ill-advised state legislators are concerned. They feel no reason not to censor games, because games have no constituency that matters and no history as important forms of expression."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the topic
, including plenty more eyebrow-raising rhetoric from Adams (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).