How Can This Be Art?

For this weeks game I choose to play Grand Theft Auto V by Rockstar Games on the PS3. There are various definitions for art, though the one I thought was most appropriate was “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects”. Like there are many definitions of art there are also many types of art and one of those being video games. Grand Theft Auto is one of the most controversial games ever created and that is because it has taken our free reality and put it in a virtual one. With that being said I am free to do every explicit or violent act known to man and run around like a mad man. Now comes the question, can this really be a form of art? I believe yes and that is because it fits the definition I found to be best for all forms of art. The developers and designers at Rockstar all used their conscious unique skills and creative imagination to create something so aesthetically pleasing. Starting from the first Grand Theft Auto the aesthetics of the game have significantly improved from poor to very vivid.


As we break down the game to its artistic roots we really get to see how this game can be classified as art. The whole foundation of the game and everything in it can be considered art because all objects are an object of an artist’s imagination and creativity. All the color schemes and details have been a concept of an artist’s mind and cannot validly be regarded as non-art just because it is in a game. It seems to be irrelevant to define art with a definition that preexists to the advancement of technology today. Something Becker would agree with is that video games are a type of art based off his concept “collective activity”. Becker makes the point that the development of most major forms of “arts we know, like all the human activities we know, involve the cooperation of others” (Becker). The development of this video perfectly falls into this concept as there are different people brainstorming and designing the game. I am going to link the book Art Worlds and if you’re not convinced I suggest you read this and be enlightened: .  It would be fair to say that the posters that were released when the game out can be a piece of art. That is because it is something brought to life by one’s creativity and provides a sense of visual stimulation.


When you play a game that is filled with so much detail and objects are so realistic it is hard to not assume of it all as a piece of art. While playing the game you feel so immersed in the game as if you were really there. I felt this because I could connect everything I saw in the game back to my own reality because of how the designers replicated objects. For example, the cars are very similar to ones in real life. There is a car called the Elegy RH8 which is a replica of the Nissan GTR. Another detail is how realistic they made Los Santos to exactly like Los Angeles. The colors used to imitate the sky and water are very life like not to mention the small detail they have that creates an illusion of reality. What I thought was cool was that at times in game I could feel like an artist with the amount of freedom I had. For example, when you take a car into the chop shop you are free to paint your own car and have a personal design that suits your creativity. You can also paint your own character in the sense that you can change their clothes, hair styles and add accessories. I believe the developing and designing teams at RockStar collectively created an art piece that can definitely be classified as art and has been enjoyed by millions of people around the world.gta_lowriders_paintjob



4 thoughts on “How Can This Be Art?

  1. I like the presentation of your blog in general. Notice that the creators of Grand Theft Auto always give it that comic book-like feel. Do you believe this is an artistic choice or merely a coincidence?


    • I actually never thought about it like that in reference to it being comic book feel. I believe it may just be what the game looks like as technology has improved at the same time trying to keep the same GTA look from the previous titles.


  2. Great article! In the first paragraph, I like how you mentioned the definition you were planning on relating GTA to. My only critique would be to mention from where/who you got the definition from. When you said, “Now comes the question, can this really be a form of art? I believe yes and that is because it fits the definition I found to be best for all forms of art” this would have been a good time to mention the person who wrote the definition that you are referring to,


  3. Thank you I will definitely keep that in mind for the future. I was defining it from, hope that helps.


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