An editorial examining the historical longevity of a mostly disposable art.
The games that mean everything to us right now will mean almost nothing to us in time. Certain games are absolutely special, and have proven that, even after 10, 20, or 30 years, their quality has not depreciated. By and large, though, video games do not have staying power. Trailers, social media, and message boards give attention to something that becomes siloed in time — everything about games is about what’s happening now. The ritualistic excitement leading up to a game’s release is almost part of the experience, and it vanishes into the void on launch day. When the credits roll, we trade up for something else, leave it on a shelf, or lose the disc. Games, among other art forms, are more closely comparable to an ice sculpture than anything else.