Mark Essen and the Future of Video Games as Art

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While this writer has spent some time with some of the most recently famous “art games” like Passage and The Graveyard and certainly appreciates them for what they are, he hasn’t been particularly moved by any of the experiences beyond a basic “Huh” as everything a video game seems to try to pull off as “Art” with a capital “A” doesn’t seem to quite make it, beyond maybe the pure craft of the job at hand. But perhaps that’s because he’s showing his aged form, as video games seem to have become one of the new hot mediums of expression, at least according to New York magazine’s coverage of designer/artist Mark Essen, who has become a huge part of this video game-as-art movement, particularly with his game Randy Balma: Municipal Abortionist, and has all the makings of becoming something of a big deal in the art world thanks to his prominent place in the New Museum‘s “The Generational: Younger Than Jesus” exhibit, which opens next week. So if you want to be considered “with it” and/or “hep” (and/or “hip”) you should read up on him, before it’s too late and you end up like a bland, base metaphor for life like in Passage.