Art is the language of the soul as while not required to use words, it is fully understandable, even though, subjective to the beholder like everything beautiful.
When we are taught about art history, we commonly get to see the archaic paintings from those caves in Spain, we also get to know the history of architecture, the Renaissance, and how modern art bent the rules of expression using anything you want.
Now we are all in love with video games, and we want them to be respected as a medium like films, music and other popular manifestations got to be an essential part of our society. But let's think beyond for a moment: will video games survive?
I am in love with the science of archaeology because it can uncover the voices of the past, how they lived, and what they got to share for the future. The ancient Egyptians, as far as it has been interpreted, wanted to immortalize their pharaohs with enormous monuments and statues. This scene of immortality has been dragged by many cultures, if not all, due to the idea of knowing we are all going to die some time. These statues are for our dimension, represented in a physical form. Most commonly stones, marble, bronze, iron, pretty much any known mineral, as they are the easiest way to make something survive the passage of time.
Unfortunately, we are never 100% sure if the message the people of the past were giving is literally as what they intended. Messages get distorted even today very easily, and can create a completely different perception of how we see someone.
These days of exponential progress in technology, computer technology to be more precise, we got many advances that were virtually impossible, or even unimaginable before. The internet is one of the most impressive inventions that humanity ever achieved. The world is now at our hands, and we can transmit our ideas at thousands of miles per second at any place of the world. You might be in a place I might never visit in my entire life as you are reading this. This era of information is indeed impressive, but sadly, extremely fragile.
Let's get on the core of the topic for once now, do you think video games, if they are ever considered as a fundamental artistic movement as we desire, survive the test of time?
Our media is distributed by some of the most ridiculously fragile physical forms ever. Compact discs, for example, can indeed store a decent amount of information inside, but they can break and lose their information way too easy. You cannot bend the discs, they scratch and corrupt the information, you should keep them away from any kind of damage as possible. Game cartridges were sturdier, but also very vulnerable as well. We all know that in order to repair a cartridge, we either blow the pins to remove the dust covering it, or also use a cotton swab and rub them with alcohol to take away stains.
Back to the internet, which is stored with the information of millions of libraries per day, can barely stay stable to this day even. Servers regularly get disturbed by almost any issue as imaginable, and they do take a while to get repaired. Now imagine if these servers tried to survive 1,000 years of abandon, dust collection, natural disasters, and many other issues. As far as technology is today, even if they are very capable, the information can be lost forever way too easily, and companies are now adopting the idea to fully replace "physical media" with the concept of cloud gaming.
Are we already considering the message we are going to give to future generations way ahead about our society? How will these messages we all adore, and enjoy survive the test of time? Will it be sculpted? Will it be oral tradition? Will it be painted in the walls of the sewers of our cities in codex form once the mutant hamsters from Andromeda decide to conquer us?
Heck, forget about gaming for a moment. Is film even ready to confront the test of time? Is celluloid sturdy enough to see how the juxtaposition of images at high speed, using a projector still create the illusion of movement?
Let's be a little corny about this for a moment: Would you imagine The Legend of Zelda become an immortal tale one day that future parents will tell them to their children in bed time? Would the tale of Mega Man be considered as a representation of how us on society were so afraid of our own technological evolution? Will Mother 3 become a philosophical classic of how we all thought that we could never escape from the mistakes we did that almost destroyed our planet, and we all forgot about the most essential aspects of life?
I believe that as every form of art is stored, conserved, and curated by archaeologists, social scientists, and displayed in museums, just very, very, very little is remembered. I believe our ancestors told even more amazing stories that we know today popularly. But war, unexpected events, and several other factors of destruction, have completely erased things we may never know about.
If we really want this medium to survive in a message-in-a-bottle form, we might need to find sturdy material that works as well as the consoles today. A case made of stone, circuitry of gold, or something else that does not deteriorate so easily, we might need to explore further in computer science to find something as good as silicone to store all that data, some sort of nonperishable internal battery to conserve the memory. It could be a very expensive time capsule project, but if dedicated, and designed well enough, it might just work.
I see the projects of big statues of fictional characters to be pretty darn amazing in this concept. Japanese a few years ago erected a giant Gundam on Odaiba to celebrate the franchise's 30th anniversary
, and now the people of Detroit wants to have a statue of Robocop in their city.
Isn't it pretty fucking inspiring how this is turning? Imagine what the people far in the future will think of these creations. We commonly relate anthropomorphic sculptures with the adoration of gods. What would these gods be interpreted as, exactly? Our gods of technology? Judging how extremely attached we are with it today, I would agree. Legend says of a giant statue known as "The Colossus of Rhodes" which represented the god of the Sun, "Helios"
. Why can't other representations of humanity stand tall adored by the millions of fans everywhere? Heck, Mickey Mouse already has a bronze statue with his creator Walt Disney on Disneyland, that is pretty damn immortalized already.
In conclusion, I believe that if we want to consider video games as a fundamental artistic leg in society, we should think of ways to immortalize it. All these ideas, the magic behind of video games is known by obscure sources today, and very rarely, intellectually discussed in actually printed media. Sure, all of this would take a long time to develop, but Rome was not built in a single day either. And you already know how well known the basic history of Rome is.