What is an art game? Answering that is as simple as answering this other question: What is “Art”?
Truth is, nobody can agree on a single definition. Yeah, sure, you can look it up in the dictionary and use that as a reference. Art is relative. So relative in fact, that it probably doesn’t exist. Art is a concept completely made up by human beings, and as humans beings, we are a messy, inconsistent and unpredictable bag of uncertainties.
You could take a dump in the corner of a contemporary art museum, and eventually, there’d be someone who would stop in front of it, contemplate it for half an hour and have their perception of life changed forever.
Art games are pretty much the same.
In a pragmatic sense though, art games are those that try to go beyond pure “entertainment”. Heck, some art games aren’t even fun to play.
Art games push the borders of what can be done with the medium and take risks. Some try to express insightful messages or ideas. Others are crazy experiments. Whatever it may be, an art game is not conventional.