Art As It Exists
Are you confused yet as of what an Art Game truly is yet? Art games, much like movies, come in many different varieties and flavors. You've got your obvious ones that come through directors like Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, and Quentin Tarantino. I picked these three also because of the fact that people in general are still divided on if they actually do produce art, however art critics and time have proven that each one of these people have created certifiable and self-contained 'art'. Then you have the lesser know artists of the American film landscape in particular: Gregg Araki, Hal Hartley, and Todd Haynes. All of these people have made works of such social/humanistic complexity that critics themselves are hard pressed to find the correct words to explain why their work deserves the title of 'art', however it is broadly understood that each director holds fast to a specific ideology and basis that the 'art' in their movies go beyond the esoteric.
Video games are going to be more difficult, however the same criteria and references are similar to movies when judging them.
I will tell you that Amped 3 contains commentary as deep as any Metal Gear game, and stylistic choices which can be interpreted unilaterally with other elements in the game. Which can then be applied to social issues, game development process, cultural changes, and yes... metaphysical concerns. The game is clearly reflective of itself, reflective of its function, and reflective of the environment in which it was created, which is one of it's larger themes.
The demise of the development team is not only revelatory, but very much indicative of the future of gaming and what to expect when there are fewer development teams. A world in which a few publishers control everything, much like the Hollywood system as it exists today. Make no mistake, Amped 3 is a rare breed. One which is probably regarded by many as an example of what kind of game shouldn't be made.
Oh, and game developers need to unionize. If they already are, then they need to find a better one.