Document Type

Honors Paper

Publication Date



In this thesis, I attempt to offer an introduction to the medium of video games. I begin with the seemingly simple, but actually quite impossible, task of defining games, drawing upon, but ultimately rejecting, a number of proposed definitions. I then attempt to explain the complicated nature of the medium and its equally complicated relationships to other media in light of Roland Barthes' theory of the Death of the Author, and I conclude that games are fundamentally new and worthwhile. Having made the abstract argument that the medium is capable of producing art, I acknowledge Roger Ebert's point that it has not yet done so, and explore the obstacles preventing game art. Drawing upon the theories of Raph Koster and Jason Rohrer, I propose a revised philosophy of game-making that seeks to unlock art in a new and unique form. I conclude by pointing out the multitude of other questions that I have left unanswered, and with the belief that these questions are worthy of critical attention.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.