Yes, this is the ever-present debate among gamers and their boring enemies, the thing that sends former best friends off to opposite sides of the room, casting deathly glares at each other when they're positive the other isn't looking. This is the debate that has been raging in nerd-dom--and outside of it--for years. So, are video games an art form or not?
The answer to this, obviously, is a definite "yes." Why, you ask? Well, let me put it simply. Is digital art an art form? Of course. Is writing an art form? No one on this website would disagree. Are films an art form? Go ask a director. So why is it that something that is essentially a combination of the three with some interactivity mixed in not be an art form? That, if you ask me, is the real question here.
Sure, behind the scenes there's a good amount of programming, but such is true with anything of the digital nature. And, hell, with the amount of work those programmers put into it, I'm gonna say their work is most positively an art form.
Ignorant people may say that video games don't qualify because playing them could be considered an "unhealthy habit." Well, dears, if a child spent all of their waking moments reading classic literature, the same affects would take place: they would grow rather plump, begin confusing reality with their beloved fiction, and perhaps develop a bit of a nearsightedness to boot. And yet no parents ever complain when this happens. So, yes, there goes that end of the debate.
Frankly, anyone who has ever played Super Mario World and felt the same rush of glee that art historians feel when looking at one of their favorite masterpieces can be absolutely positive that video games are art. And everyone else? Well, they're just jealous.