The Art of the Virtual

Are video games starting to--gasp!--mean something?

Steven Spielberg spoke out on video games last month at the EA Game Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California. "I think the real indicator," he said, "will be when somebody confesses that they cried at Level 17." Spielberg was talking about video games and art, and the increasingly less absurd question of are-they-or-aren't-they. The mere fact that U.S.C. has a Game Innovation Lab is probably an indicator that something is afoot, but I'm here to accept Spielberg's challenge and come clean. A video game made me cry.

The game is called Halo, and it wasn't actually Level 17; it...

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