The study of game aesthetics is a very recent practice, spanning less than two decades. Unlike game studies in mathematics or the social sciences, which are much older, games became subject to humanistic study only after computer and video games became popular. This lack of persistent interest might seem odd, but only if we see traditional games and computer games as intrinsically similar, which they are not. We might try to explain this lack by noting that games are usually seen as trivial and low-brow by the aesthetic and theoretical elites who cultivate the analysis of artistic media objects: literature, the visual arts, theatre, music, etc. But this does not explain the fact that aesthetic studies of games are now possible, and even, in some academic environments, encouraged and supported with grants. What happened to cause this change?
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