Despite of its popularity and social penetration, computer technology is still in early stages as a medium for artistic creation. The modest attempts triggered by the advent of the Compact Disc in the early nineties, were quickly forgotten when the internet hijacked every PC on the planet. Now it seems like video games are taking up the challenge, slowly and painfully. But while the CD Roms of the nineties often approached the medium with a certain freshness and purity, video games are dragging an enormous load of baggage with them. And voluntarily so, as many designers insist on the heritage of not only several decades of video game history, but, also even of the millenia-spanning history of game creation itself.
I argue that this is not necessary.
Computer technology is a new medium. We should look at it with a fresh pair of eyes and try to discover its strengths and its weaknesses. We don’t need to ignore the history of other media. Other media can be very inspiring. But why limit our interest to games? The computer artist can learn as much from painting, photography, theater, comic strips, cinema, literature, music, sculpture and architecture as he or she can from games.
I understand why games are of interest to developers of interactive art: games are possibly the only form of entertainment from the past that is interactive. So there’s a lot to learn there. But why limit ourselves? With computers everything can become interactive!