In typical fashion, one post on the games-as-art debate spawns a response. This is one debate I actually enjoy watching, since the evidence people haul out in support their positions is fascinating. We go from the Impressionists to 300 in this Gamasutra essay by E. Daniel Arey, and he tackles the question of why the 'art inherent to games' does indeed matter. Just like any good artistically driven medium, games have pushed the boundaries since their creation, he says:
While I fully understand and support that games are a wonderful play pastime, and that gameplay and fun are the beating heart of our business, I find these assertions to keep everything the same as a set of false boundaries that foster cynical limitations by those in power to assure the status quo is comfortable and predictable. The real truth is, games have always pushed the boundaries and evolved on their own, right from the beginning. First they were a simply a "Novelty." Then Time Magazine proudly labeled them a passing "Fad." Then they were a "Quaint Pastime." Then a "Cultural Phenomenon." And now a "Mainstream Entertainment" medium.
I think the problem inherent to these discussions is that while people can try and slough the question of 'what is art?' off to academics, it's very much tied to the question of 'art and video games' or 'art in video games' or 'video games as art.' Many modern media struggle with this, and it's by no means confined to games - but this debate has no end.
The Art Of Games [Gamasutra]