Spotlight TEDx Talk: Video games can be serious art. Why don’t we give them more credit?

A still from BioShock Infinite

A still from BioShock Infinite from Amy Green’s talk

Amy Green is Shakespearean scholar who loves video games, and she believes that shouldn’t be as surprising as it is to most.

Because, as she says in a talk at TEDxUNLV, the mental workout from her days spent analyzing literature in a classroom and her nights brandishing a video game controller is quite similar. Good video games, she says, can be as nuanced, complex and thought-provoking as a great literature, and it’s time the world recognized that, she says. “[Video game] ideas invoke debate, discussion and big thinking,” she says.

In her talk, Green describes the intellectual challenges of several narrative-based video games, including BioShock, BioShock Infinite, Dishonored, Assassin’s Creed IV and The Last of Us. She explores how choices players make in these games affect the climate of the games’ stories; how the games’ narratives encourage gamers to interact intellectually with issues rampant in the world outside of the game; and how video games challenge players’ ideas of morality, narrative and story.

For more, watch Green’s whole talk below:

Insight from the TEDx office — Why we like this talk

The speaker presents an idea that is personally significant to her — that the idea of video games as uncomplicated time-passers is outdated and should be reconsidered, and that the educational community (and the public at large) should be open to considering these games’ artistic merit — without relying on mere personal story. Instead, she supports her idea with evidence culled from the subject she is considering as well as observations from her work as an educator. Her talk is clear, straightforward and delivered with enthusiasm for her subject.


  1. Mahal

    Enlightening talk which i shared with my gaming students so that they can judiciously use their talent and experience.

  2. I don’t want that stigma on me and its the hobby

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