French Minister wants games classified as art

Written by Ryan Garside

November 9, 2006 // 12:41 p.m.

Tags: #art #artform #cinema #france #french #games #grants #renaud-donnedieu-de-vabres #tax

French minister, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, is pushing for the government to classify video games as an art form, a move which will see companies involved with games development in France receive significant tax breaks.

The minister, who has already given away the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres to legendary game director Shigeru Miyamoto, had this to say about the topic:

"Call me the minister of video games if you want — I am proud of this. People have looked down on video games for far too long, overlooking their great creativity and cultural value."

He continued by clarifying his position on the artistic nature of games: "Video games are not a mere commercial product. They are a form of artistic expression involving creation from script writers, designers and directors."

The significance of recognising games as an art-form is emphasised by the number of top publishing houses located in France: Vivendi, Ubisoft and Infogrames would all see financial benefits should Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres get his way. The tax breaks they may receive on future products could be as high as 20%.

In recent weeks Britain's Science Museum has opened an exhibition for games called 'Game On'. As well as other game-art related events the Video Games Live, orchestral recital of popular videogame songs, is set to take place in London at the end of this month.

This is one of the areas Donnedieu de Vabres stresses in his argument, the fact that both France and the UK are worldwide leaders in games development and that he wants this to be celebrated and encouraged. In a closing statement that will bring about a collective sigh of relief from the rest of the world he said: "Video game characters will not be required to wear a beret and carry a litre of wine under their arm."

Should games be considered an art form? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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