Austin Wintory doesn't care to participate in debates about whether video games count as art. But if anyone corners him about it Wednesday when he joins the Pacific Symphony as a guest conductor, he'll have a couple of powerful friends to back him up.
One is the voting bloc of the Recording Academy, which a few months ago made Wintory the first composer to snare a Grammy nomination for a game score. Another is the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which around the same time added 14 games to its collection — including "flOw," a project Wintory co-created while a student at USC.
In recent years, the medium's increasing sophistication has caused many to question whether it can stand alongside novels, movies and other venerable forms. Even the annual Conference on World Affairs in Colorado has hosted at least two symposiums in the past decade on the importance of games. To Wintory, who will conduct his nominated score for the PlayStation 3 offering "Journey" during the symphony's "Video Games Live" concert, history is fast deciding the winner.