In the 40 years since home video games emerged on the scene, they have flourished as a commodity, largely for a hungry market of forever-adolescent boys. Yet these “games” have progressed on a second track, gathering a robust roster of creative talent. Indeed, there are many games that stray from the usual “first-hand shooter play,” games that invoke a visual depth and tell thought-provoking stories, exemplified last month by the release of The Unfinished Swan. And as buzz over Grand Theft Auto V’s spring release begins this month, news of its virtual environment — twice the size of Manhattan — left fans breathless at the thought of entering such an immersive landscape. To find their cultural relevance, we need look no further than the Smithsonian, which earlier this year devoted an exhibit to the art of video games, or the NEA’s recent decision to make them eligible for artistic funding. Ahead, find 10 games from the past 20 years that offer points in their favor, curated by Killscreen founder Jamin Warren.
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