Art is a way to communicate experiences. Every art form tries to convey different kinds of experiences, with a variety of different tools.
Paintings convey human perception of the world and of our own imaginations. When I saw a local Van Gogh exhibit, I was struck by his focus on the smallest gems of nature in a larger context. The individual paint strokes were used to convey a sense of motion, which is impressive in such a fixed media. This art form shares where we come from, and how we view the world.
Dance tells a story with the subtle movements of the human forms. Expressing ideas and concepts through their posture and movements is an impressive accomplishment that still boggles my mind.
Music shares emotion, from a melodious piano solo to an exciting and breathtaking full symphony. The interplay between instruments is a way to make emotions clear to the audience.
Roleplaying games hold a very special niche within the arts, in that our hobby forces the audience (players) to make choices. We create situations that are emotionally powerful and ethically challenging. We place ourselves in other people’s shoes and we make decisions that we could not or would not make in real life. Through roleplaying games, we can experience the agony of a small business owner who has to lay off his hard working staff. We can live the joy of a mother who reunites with her estranged daughter. We can destroy kingdoms, embrace a new faith, lose it all, or crawl up from the gutters. Each of these experiences helps us grow as people, and ensure that we can make better choices in the future in our own lives. That is the power of our art.
Am I wrong? Is there some aspect of RPG’s as an art for that I am missing? Let me know in the comments.