i disagree video games are a form of art. A game being to immersive is like saying the monalisa is an incomplete painting. Censorship in this world has just become to stupid and strict on the media but doesnt restrict people like the idiots at the westboro church from "thanking god for dead soldiers" and protesting soldier's funerals. Oh, there is actually a story in ManHunt 2.
As for your pro gamer friends, I'm a former pro in Unreal Tournament 2004, for PC games we care about fast framerates with no lag, we will turn our games to low graphical settings and 800 by 600 resolution. For consoles we should have to suffer from lag, and framerate issues so graphics should be able to free to create wonderful worlds displaying each developer's own art styles.
1) If you want to make art, you will make it on the PC. Why compromise your art and make games on the inferior PS3 console?
2) I sincerely hope games become an art form. The problem is it isnt there yet. The popular games today are incredibly violent, shallow, and aimed almost entirely at 15-25 year old males. God of War is a great example, as is Gears of War. In fact, any game where you go out and kill hundreds if not thousands of bad guys, beat "bosses" and ultimately "win" are pretty much not art. They're young male fantasies, like Spider Man or Dragon Ball Z -- shallow action stuff intended to be "cool."
If this were a serious art form, educated adults would be playing these games, and by and large, they're not. The games you love are played mostly by teenagers and 23 year olds. Adults ARE playing the Wii, however, which basically suggests you have it backwards.
For 15 years, video games have made almost no progress in capturing the educated adult market. Now, with the Wii, they are. What this suggests is that the Wii has a chance to be an art form, and it's the Playstation brand (and Gamecube, and Xbox, and N64, and any other brand that failed to capture the adult market) that is failing to be art.
Your Mona Lisa example is a great one, because it almost entirely annihilates your position. How many teenage boys do you know that are profoundly interested in Renaissance-era art? Classical painting of any kind? I've known maybe one or two. It's a serious art form, and it's almost entirely dominated by well educated adults. As are all the other serious art forms I can think of -- art house movies, canonized plays such as those of Shakespeare, canonized novels such as The Great Gatsby. These are things adults enjoy, because high art is complicated and, generally, not very fun, as the goal is to engage the mind.
By contrast, the top games on the PS and 360 (Metal Gear, Gears of War, God of War, Killzone) are almost entirely avoided by adults, and largely played by teenagers, especially male ones. This suggests that what you call "art" isn't really art at all -- it's just a young male fantasy.