Recently, the National Endowment for the Arts expanded its definition of art by allowing "interactive games" to its canon of art forms, making those in the media arts eligible for grants (the largest of which is $200,000).
According to The Escapist, a gaming news site, the NEA changed the category "Arts on Radio and Television" to "Arts in Media," which will now encompass satellite- and Internet-based media, as well as games.
This announcement is a huge score for the gaming community, says article author John Funk, but he adds that such an extension of the definition of art is more symbolic in some ways, than actually a change that gamers will see:
Still, it means that an aspiring game-maker with an idea for an artistic game - which would have to be available for free, mind you - might have a shot at making it without being beholden to a larger publisher.
Naturally, this wouldn't just be the AAA-style of game that we're all accustomed to. Not only is $200k laughably small to the sort of money that goes into your average Call of Duty or Portal, the NEA only offers grants to projects which it deems for the public good. It's a safe bet that whatever game projects it approves - if any - will likely be different from what we see on shelves at GameStop.
Cue the uproar.