Games are an aesthetic medium of action

If painting is an aesthetic medium of vision, music an aesthetic medium of sound, and cooking an aesthetic medium of taste, then games are an aesthetic medium of action, Frank Lantz observes.

Games involve visuals and music, of course, but what really distinguishes them is that the player acts. Game designers can express a specific aesthetic experience by shaping players’ actions to cause them to have that experience (see Enacted experience).

In fact, games are really the aesthetic medium of action. Immersive theater sometimes qualifies, but audience action is usually secondary. On certain trips, adventure tour guides are authoring an aesthetic medium of action, but such trips are usually more about observing than participating.


Conversation with Frank Lantz, 2019-05-07

Last updated 2023-07-13.