Minecraft has been crowned the winner of a new arts award at the sixth GameCity videogame culture festival based in Nottingham. The Swedish indie title squared off against such high-profile games as Portal 2, ilomila, and LIMBO.
One judge (Ed Hall) among the panel of 13 cited the game’s staying power as a key advantage to its choosing: “Was there merit in the game enhancing life and enjoyment beyond just playing the game itself? Could it make your view of the world better? Could a computer game be viewed as something that wouldn’t be sneered at in the future?”
Iain Simons, director of GameCity, made the observation that while games technology is certainly evolving towards the photorealistic, this is not the ideal or the reason to be for many developers in the industry: “I don’t think that is in itself something that makes them art. Otherwise we wouldn’t cry at Bambi. It’s not about photorealism.” A victory for the block-based Minecraft seems to uphold the notion.
Despite its popularity (with just under 4 million purchases), the game is still in its beta and will enjoy official release next month.