At the Newsweek blog LevelUp, journalist N'Gai Croal wrote this week about the sometimes-precarious position of videogames in popular culture. The frustrations of legislators, lawyers, and 'pro-family' groups aside, the popularity and record sales of the gaming industry would seem to indicate rising stock for gaming as an art form in the US. And yet, there are some folks who see gaming as just another fad, which in some time will be equal in popularity to comic books or tabletop roleplaying. N'Gai starts to form his response by noting that learning to play videogames
is considerably easier than developing an appreciation for literature of any kind. He then goes on to note that the (oft-cited) lack of weighty subjects in gaming
is more due to the 'pop culture' nature of the hobby than the medium itself. "Popular fiction generally outsells literary fiction. Summer blockbusters generally out-gross arthouse films. Is this any different from, say, Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat out-NPD-ing BioShock last year, or Madden doing the same to Shadow of the Colossus in 2005?"
He discusses some ways to address that, but do you have any solutions? Or are games doomed to be the playthings of adolescent boys for the rest of the century? (And yeah, I resent the 'comics ghetto' label too.)