I always found games like Night Trap, Mad Dog Mcree 2, Corpse Killer etc. to be an artform unto themselves. They represent a style all their own. Interaction with FMV was thought to be the future of gaming at the time, and 3DO was at the front of the pack in the genre. If movies are art, then being part of, and interacting with, a movie is art as well...even if it is a B-movie.
Do they hold up today? That depends on who you ask. Most people probably view it as a silly fad or an embarassing chapter in gaming history, but guys like me always get a certain unexplainable feeling everytime I pull out the gamegun and put on Mad Dog 2, or pop in Night Trap for some nostalgic gaming. Yes, they're repetitive, but so are lots of games. They're indicative of an time of experimentation with new boundaries to explore. That, I think, is what makes them their own art, but I think you had to be experiencing that in real time back in the early 90's to be able to truly appreciate it.
Also, games from Crystal Dynamics like Crash n' Burn had styles that were unlike anything else at the time. Admittedly, these aren't necessarily
great games (although I played a ton of CnB in my time). However, I don't think anyone can argue that Crystal Dynamics was definitely doing something that hadn't been done, and not purely for the reason that they were making games with better graphics capabilities than the console standard at the time. It wasn't known how much or how little FMV or real audio content the gamer wanted, or even what enhanced or detracted from the experience overall. It was a unique process of sort of "feeling out" where games were going to go from there.
Take a good listen to Killing Time. The first time I played it, heard the soundtrack, and saw the ghostly characters in front of me, I was absolutely blown away. Would any of you argue that KT had a different feel and mood than what had been done before? To claim that it wasn’t art would be, I feel, a great insult to people who stepped outside of the box to try to give a familiar experience a total new and unique feel.
That's really what I think the uniqueness of the 3DO was and is. The technology was just far enough ahead of the pack that it challenged designers to experiment in shaping what gaming would become in the subsequent console generation, at a time when (arguably) one of the greatest leaps in gaming technology had occured. Sure, most of it will go down as just that: experiment, but it deserves its’ respect as an art as much or more than most of what’s been done in the gaming world.
Sorry, I tend to be long-winded. That's why I don't typically participate in forums.