Are Games Art?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I want to write a longer post/ full-length essay about this. However, I thought I’d put it to my friends out there on the webternets to tell me what they think. So if you have any kind of views on this, even if (actually, maybe ESPECIALLY if- ) you’re not interested in playing games yourself, air them in the comments. I’d love to see a discussion go on about this in the comments, and I will join in myself.

Some points to think about:
Games are a combination of several art forms. Does this strengthen games’ position as art or does it make games an industry rather than an art?

On industry: Studio games these days have bigger budgets than most big-budget films and take years to develop with huge teams. They have several people just to keep the economics in check! Other games (independent and freeware ones) are developed by small and even single-person teams.

Film is established as an art, so does this negate the entire industry argument against games as art? If not, why? What makes film different from games?

ARE films art?!

What IS art? Specifically? What is required to call something art? An art degree? A purpose? A meaning? Anything at all?

Games don’t seem to generally have the same versatility that films, books, paintings, comics and other art forms have. Is this because they’re still new? Will even mainstream games develop to such a degree that they can create a war game that actually treats war with the depth that war films can?

Some indie games deal with quite heavy themes and also experiment a lot more with gameplay, pushing the boundaries of what games are and can be. Are indie games inherently more artistic than mainstream games?

Are we in the middle of the game industry’s version of the Avant-Garde?

I’ve probably made some assumptions you don’t agree with here, and if I have, feel free to say so! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!