Games are an art, but what kind? They are created worlds where people can go to have fun and spend time winning in a way that the real world rarely offers. That makes them an art, but can they be more than just fun graphics and toys? Absolutely.
Think of a game world as a modern art gallery: There are walls and space all around you. What could you hang on those walls? What installations could you place in the space? What interactive elements could you put there? What people or machines could populate it? And how could you use those numina to inspire belief so the game becomes thaumatic?
Consider Rez. To the play brain it is just a shooter on rails. Look beyond that, however, at the iconography, the digitised plants and ancient monuments. Listen to the music. Watch how your doll transforms through various evolutionary states. It’s all a living gallery and the art is on the walls.
The question is: As a game maker, do you see that? Or do you just see the shooter?