Roleplaying games as art.
A lot of people in the hobby feel this way. There seems to be a prevailing sense that people who look at roleplaying games as art (or themselves as artists) are Pretentious Arseholes who smoke Gauloise cigarettes and linger in coffee shops loudly declaiming the death of literature / film / theatre etc. This image was often attributed to those who dared to play White Wolf games in the early 1990s, and the way those games described roleplaying (which, twenty years on, seems less outre and pretentious, as many games have since acquired many of the same self-conscious narrative-building / drama-centric techniques that White Wolf was aiming for -- whether or not you think they "stuck the landing"). What seemed like heresy Back In The Day is now so common as to barely merit discussion at all, especially if you play any of the "storygames" that have evolved since -- but even mainstream games today readily acknowledge that they are about constructing a kind of narrative and provide tools to do just that.
In short, there is a very large part of the hobby that considers itself proudly and firmly in the "beer and pretzels" camp -- they play roleplaying games to goof around with their friends (and possibly enjoy games that feature Killing Things And Taking Their Stuff) full stop. That would be fine, except that many who see the hobby this way also seem to be openly hostile to anyone who doesn't play games for the same reasons they do, the One True Way of Roleplaying. Curiously, those who claim to be most interested in the "game" part of roleplaying games are also the ones most likely to assume the mantle of oppressive orthodoxy. Your brand of fun is not sanctioned, heretics, so grab some polyhedrals and make with the ha-ha already; don't let the sun set on your "art" in these here parts.
I could go on about how this seems to be part-and-parcel of an insidious modern contempt for anything intellectual, and the curious fact that this attitude exists even inside a -- let's face it -- pretty nerdy, niche hobby, but let's stay on point.
What this argument seems to boil down to is two questions: Could roleplaying be art? And should it be art? (And, incidentally, we probably need to ask ourselves how we define art to begin with.)
To be continued...