"A video game is a game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device." This is the simplified definition of a "video game" given by Wikipedia.com.
Video games first began to develop in the mid-1970s as arcade games as well as early home consoles such as the Magnavox Odyssey.
They were played in bars and restaurants, and expanded into their own areas inside malls and theaters. This new technology developed quickly, however it had to be builty from the ground up. They were perceived as new, and therefore did not stand on the shoulders of countless generations that came before. They were seen as neither updating, nor overthrowing earlier conventions within the same genre like in mediums such as painting and sculpture.
The capabilities of arcades and early home computers were so limited that game artists were scarcely used or needed. In-game graphics were simply created in code. Thus, from the very beginning, video games have been seen as archaic. Or as some fad, grossly overstaying its welcome. This odd development should not undervalued as evidence of why and how video games were, and still are, belittled.
With the rapid maturation of its technology, video games are now able to set players in convincing visual surrounding to heighten the level of involvement.
Yet, there was something there, always. Why is Pacman, an utterly simple character, so charming to so many. From the bleeps and bloops of Pong, the jubilant sound of grabbing a mushroom; these are sounds that never quite leave the mind. Who hasn't seen the Tetris blocks fall when they close their eyes, laying in bed after hours of playing? These seemingly archaic renderings left just enough to the imagination, through necessity, to create personal and permanent imaginings and memories of the experience.
Manifestations of this can be seen in the thousands of fanart images, compositions and costumes being created every day. The video game is an art form in its creation, implementation, experience and contemplation. Its business booms from the human being's need for new experience and challenge in a forever shrinking and policed world. And like all art, there are masterpieces, duds, perversions and wild experimentations.
Like no other art form, games have spontaneous spawned close-knit communities, which now rivals much older and highly praised art forms like cinema. Video Games' connection to technology bestows limitless imaginative possibility for experience immersion and offers more to contemplate for its play on alter-egos and wish fulfillment as well as challenge. While at the same time the gaming community holds video game's not-so-long-ago roots up to the light in the current "retro-fad".
Yet, video games are ridiculed, and gamers are ridiculed by extension. Video games are still demonized because they are still fresh, and yet this is the source of its virility. However, until games are no longer the scapegoat for violence, theft, poor students and so many other ills of society, it has little chance of being accepted as art, or for its artwork, both in-game and out, and by extension the beautiful fanart that follows.
Fortunately, each and every one of us knows this only a matter of time. Until that day though, gamers will just have to endure the bias. Just take a deep breath and remember, it's only a game. :)