For years the National Endowment for the Arts' has been doling out millions of dollars to innovative television and radio projects about the arts or that could be considered works of art. Starting next year, video games are eligible for some of that sweet, sweet federal grant money.
The National Endowment for the Arts has transformed its Arts in Television and Radio program into the much broader Arts in Media program. The new guidelines build upon the existing television and radio guidelines, now covering media produced for the internet, interactive and mobile technologies, arts content delivered via satellite, and digital games.
That's right, if your non-profit game development studio can come up with a concept that supports the arts, teaches the arts, or could be considered a work of art itself, then you're just an application and weeding process away from $10,000 to $200,000 worth of money forcibly donated by U.S. taxpayers to help fund your game's development.
Oh, and it'll help if it runs on Facebook.
In order to reach the widest possible audience, priority will be given to projects that include substantive public engagement strategies, including well-articulated social media strategies.
Is this a triumph for the games-as-art lobby? It's at least an acknowledgement that games can be used as a medium to further the arts, which is definitely a step in the right direction.
FY 2012 Arts in Media Guidelines [National Endowment for the Arts]