Game on at the art museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will debut its first collection of classic video games in an exhibit to open early next year

Video games are fun and interactive, and they're apparently also art.

That's the declaration of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which plans to exhibit a selection of classic games early next year in a move that will either resolve a great debate or further complicate it.

Paola Antonelli, senior curator of the museum's Department of Architecture and Design, in a Thursday blog post announced that MoMa is installing 14 video games next March, with 40 additional titles to be added over the next few years.

Among the titles to be added initially or later are some of the greatest hits of the 1970s and 1980s, including Space Invaders, Asteroids, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Tempest and Super Mario Bros.

Other titles include Tetris, Another World, Myst, SimCity 2000, vib- ribbon, The Sims, Katamari Damacy, EVE Online, Dwarf Fortress, Portal, flOw, Passage, Canabalt, Spacewar!, Pong, Snake, Zork, Yars' Revenge, M.U.L.E., Core Ware, Marble Madness, The Legend of Zelda, NetHack, Street Fighter II, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario 64, Grim Fandango, Animal Crossing, and Minecraft.

"Are video games art? They sure are, but they are also design, and a design approach is what we chose for this new foray into this universe," Antonelli wrote.

Gamers have long argued that video games are art, but critics have offered up compellingarguments to the contrary. Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert has been one of the most vocal.

While that may be true, Antonelli said MoMA evaluated the games' design, from the "elegance of the code to the design of the player's behavior," to determine which games should be included in the collection. The museum also sought input from academics, historians and critics to narrow down the field.

"Because of the tight filter we apply to any category of objects in MoMA's collection, our selection does not include some immensely popular video games that might have seemed like no-brainers to video game historians," Antonelli wrote.

The games will be exhibited in their original software and hardware formats, if possible. Depending on the length of the game, some will be playable in their entirety, while others only for a limited time.

MoMA isn't the first museum to declare video games art.

The Smithsonian's "Art of Video Games" exhibit , which ran from March through September, featured games like Pac-Man, The Secret of Monkey Island, and Flower.

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Caitlin McGarry

PC World (US online)
Topics: Metropolitan Museum of Art, applications, Photo / video, games, software, video

Comments

HYPNEROTOMACHUS

1

The MOMA has done the right thing. After NEOLUDICA ART IS A GAME at Biennale Venice 2011 it was recognized that the world is a video game, a total bet on our future, in which video game as a medium, knowingly sprung from its own fiction, may finally get out of the mirror, like Alice, in order to express
its thought on a society that has never been so stratified and complex. The two realities - which sum up to form one augmented reality - are very much alike and cannot do without one another. Artists, creators, developers and players are then called upon to step up in class, andto accept a confrontation that
will be aesthetic as well as ethic, and therefore will bring upmore daydreams.Today more than ever we are moved by Lewis Mumford's words from his 1934 essayTechnics and Civilization: "Thanks to machines, we now have a chance to understand a worldwe contributed to create."
In Italy the videogame is art and is exhibited in museums:
http://www.museoscienza.org/english/activities/assassins-creed/
http://www.artitude.eu/it/news/987-neoludica:-art-is-a-game-,-videogames-are-art
http://neoludica.blogspot.it/

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