Smithsonian gaming exhibit seeking voters

Stalwart American museum seeking gamers' aid in selecting 80 games to include in "Art of Video Games" exhibit, opening in DC on March 16, 2012.

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In 2009, the Strong National Museum of Play opened up one of the largest video game museums in the country, offering more than 20,000 pieces of memorabilia from the medium's 40-year history. Soon, that exhibit will have some competition, as the Smithsonian American Art Museum announced that its upcoming exhibition, "The Art of Video Games," will open in Washington, DC, on March 16, 2012.

According to the museum, the exhibit will "explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies." Past Pixels founder Chris Melissinos will curate the exhibit. However, gamers will also be able to have their say on which games are included in the exhibit.

Mass Effect 2 could be a work of art.

From now until April 7, gamers can vote on titles they'd like to see in the exhibit through the Art of Video Games exhibit website. From the 240-game pool, which was compiled by Melissinos and reviewed by an advisory board comprising game developers, designers, industry pioneers, and journalists, 80 games will be selected for the exhibit. The exhibit will also feature 20 gaming platforms.

Titles are broken up into eras, genres, and platforms, ranging from Combat on the Atari 2600 to Mass Effect 2 on the Xbox 360. Selected titles will be shown as screenshots and video in the exhibit. The results of the voting phase will be published online in May.

Discussion

65 comments
blancobo
blancobo

I am not very impressed with the list I saw. If these "journalists" were to pick the best 80 games, they should have selected by their innovation. One Super Mario game was enough since all the rest have been iterations based on the same principle. Just like Pacman was a break thorugh and Mrs and Junior Pacman are just expanisons of the priciple. Instead of going via the systems they should have included the arcade versions first: Pacman, Ikari Warriors, Afterburner, Galaga, Street Fighter, Out - Run, Hogans Alley, Super Mario Borthers, Mario Brothers, Marble Madness, Paperboy, Elevator Action, Altered Beast... After considering some of these, then based on the systems, Ninja Gaiden (NES), Prince of Persia (PC), Metal Gear Solid (PS), Uncharted 2(PS3, Gears of War (360), Halo (XB), CoD Modern Warfare, God of War (PS2), Zelda (NES), Braid (360), Mass Effect (360), Final Fantasy VII (PS), Gran Turismo (PS) these are some examples of games that established trends to follow. Maybe not all were thinking outside the box but they have established principles.

The_AI
The_AI

I really hope that Mass Effect 2 will be included... but it's going up against Oblivion. Honestly, ME2 is much more artistically viable than Oblivion, but a bunch of morons who think that Oblivion is the greatest RPG ever created will probably vote for it...

pizzamuncher
pizzamuncher

Anyhow, the most artistic game to me would be Flower, that game is pure art. I loved it!

pizzamuncher
pizzamuncher

Anyone else find that all the best choices are grouped together and the unheard of ones are grouped together? Final Fantasy X, Kingdom Hearts 2 and Okami are one example.

SuperMessy
SuperMessy

wth, they have Sonic CD under Sega Genesis? Anyways, Ocarina of Time, Chrono Trigger, Shadows of the Colossus, and FF7 got my vote.

bioghost
bioghost

I would vote for Battle city as my all-time favorite game!

hyttenhoof
hyttenhoof

@MrFreehuggs - where does it say that?

Gta3-fan334
Gta3-fan334

people better vote for the classics too and not just games from this era. PS their website is broken >:/

AttroPheed
AttroPheed

My prediction: The Halos win followed closely by CoD.

XeonForce
XeonForce

Wow, this made my day. I just hope that artistically worthy games are included and not just popular ones.

dw9872
dw9872

*insert reference to Roger Ebert here*

Darth_Nater307
Darth_Nater307

If they want to add games that look like art, I suggest they add games like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Okami, Viewtiful Joe, heck, even recent games like Street Fighter IV & the just released MvC3.

MrFreehuggs
MrFreehuggs

@hyttenhoof the site says "Vote for your favorite game now!" I think they are going off of popularity.

fightmusician
fightmusician

Fallout 3 with its post apocalyptic DC would be a grand choice!

hyttenhoof
hyttenhoof

@MooncalfReviews I agree about Dreamfall, although I think The Longest Journey not being there is much worse.

hyttenhoof
hyttenhoof

@marvel456 you're not supposed to pick the best game ever, but the most artistically worthy Personally, I think the selection is absolutely horrid, with games like friggin black ops and Mario. Mario is a great game, but there sure as hell is no art about the. Personally, I think Earthbound and Deus Ex are some of the better choices. my only worry is that a popular game wins because it is just that.

NeverMore0
NeverMore0

Guess they'll have to put this in a closed-off wing since apparently video games are so harmful to children.

MrFreehuggs
MrFreehuggs

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

MrFreehuggs
MrFreehuggs

Shaq-Fu> All video games, ever... I will not visit unless it makes it. That and any games ever released along side a movie. Oh, and Battlefield: Bad Company...

marvel456
marvel456

The Legend of Zelda HAS to be there! Certainly one of the best game ever!!

NColdhardt
NColdhardt

I've been telling many people that the creation of videogames is an artform since the SNES! Guess somebody finally listened. :P

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

THE ERAS DO LOAD, it just takes a really long time.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

A higher percentage of the games need to be from recent years to show how rapidly gaming has grown and expanded.

xxLordDavidxx
xxLordDavidxx

Normally I'd be unhappy with one game getting so much attention. But this time: Mass Effect completely deserves it.

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

Also: they didn't include Dreamfall, RDR or Alan Wake on this. That is ... unforgivable. Those are three of the most artistic, moving, beautifully directed and scored games I've ever played.

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

I have to choose between Shenmue 2, Indigo Prophecy and Fable 1?? You're MEAN Smitsonian!

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

jarofdirt882
jarofdirt882

I've always liked the Smithsonian, and now I think I love them. Recognition from such a well renowned institute that (some) video games are art, should be a big step in silencing the critics.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

But you know what Roger Ebert is going to say: "Any title able to make it into that exhibit must be only semi-interactive and therefore isn't a game. Video games still aren't art." lol

imaidiot
imaidiot

SOTC, ICO, Braid, and Limbo are a few that pop out in my mind when I think of art in videogames. Other games may be more graphically enhanced, but these stick out as being different and what I consider art.

ahpuck
ahpuck

I don't envy Chris Melissinos at all. selecting 80 out of thousands of games over 40 years? I'm sure he is going to be criticized no matter what games he ends up choosing. The only games I'm %100 sure are going to be featured are Mario, Pac-man and maybe World of Warcraft.

Shadow4020
Shadow4020

As long as Heavy Rain and Kingdom Hearts 2 makes it, I'm happy! :)

Centurion95
Centurion95

Sweet! Now our descendants can view the glory of the Mass Effect series in the FUTURE!

robotica
robotica

Is anyone else having trouble accessing anything on their page? Nothing will load for me.

Barighm
Barighm

Shadow of the Colossus...I got nothing else to say.

redskinStu
redskinStu

E.T. for the 2600 all the way, peeps. Right next to an exhibit on the Red Ring.

Henninger
Henninger

I think i might have to take a trip to DC that day. This is great news.

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

FINALLY! Something in Washington D.C. thats not against the gaming industry!

NerdyGeekboy
NerdyGeekboy

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Zloth2
Zloth2

Wait, why does it say to vote for games that are VISUALLY spectacular? Aren't they going to have the music, too? And yeah, they are going to have to require registration to vote. They're going to have enough trouble with people voting a dozen times even with registration.

FriendBear
FriendBear

The mecca of gaming temporarily moves from Akihabara to D.C :3

Buttons1990
Buttons1990

I haven't been the Smithsonian in years... I will definitely be visiting once this opens.

pokecharm
pokecharm

all of a sudden, I'm super glad I live in DC - I am so going to this...I wonder if they'll have any video game celebrities the day it opens...?

venomdeo
venomdeo

This is great news I will have to go see it when it is finished.