New York art museum to display video games

December 3, 2012
Are video games a form of art? New York's Museum of Modern Art, pictured in August 2012, thinks so, and starting in March several games will become an integral part of the museum's collection.

Are video games a form of art? New York's Museum of Modern Art thinks so, and starting in March several games will become an integral part of the museum's collection.

The museum, known by the acronym MoMA, has purchased 14 video games, and expects to soon increase its collection to 40, according to Paola Antonelli, senior curator with the museum's Department of Architecture and Design.

This will be "a new category of artworks in MoMA's collection that will grow in the future," the museum said in a statement over the weekend.

The initial games, which the public can see starting in March 2013, features classics like Pac-Man (1980), Tetris (1984), Another World (1991), Myst (1993), SimCity 2000 (1994) and The Sims (2000); as well as vib-ribbon (1999), Katamari Damacy (2004), EVE Online (2003), Dwarf Fortress (2006), Portal (2007), flOw (2006), Passage (2008) and Canabalt (2009).

For Antonelli, video games are certainly , "but they are also design, and a design approach is what we chose for this new foray into this universe. The games are selected as outstanding examples of interaction design."

The exhibit is aimed at emphasizing "not only the and aesthetic experience of each game, but also the many other aspects, from the elegance of the code to the design of the player's behavior," she wrote on the blog.

The games are also chosen based on "a combination of historical and cultural relevance ... innovative approaches to technology and behavior, and a successful synthesis of materials and techniques in achieving the goal set by the initial program."

The wish list for the next tranche of games includes Spacewar! (1962), one of the earliest video games ever; Pong (1972); (1985); and Street Fighter II (1991).

If the game is short, visitors can play it "in its entirety."

For games that take longer to play "an interactive demonstration, in which the game can be played for a limited amount of time, will be the answer.

Explore further: Video games shown to improve vision

Related Stories

Video games shown to improve vision

March 15, 2007

According to a new study from the University of Rochester, playing action video games sharpens vision. In tests of visual acuity that assess the ability to see objects accurately in a cluttered space, game players scored ...

Smithsonian holds vote on video games for exhibit

February 21, 2011

(AP) -- The Smithsonian American Art Museum is asking the public to help select video games that will be included in its first exhibit to explore the art and visual effects of gaming.

Video games enter realm of art at Smithsonian

March 17, 2012

Video games have come a long way since the first simple adventures of Mario and Pac-Man and now enter the realm of art in a major exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington that celebrates gaming's rich ...

Recommended for you

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.