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Smithsonian to exhibit video games as art
The Smithsonian, mega institution billed as the 'world's largest museum complex and research organization,' has embraced videogames as an art form with an exhibit debuting next year.
Posted May 13, 2011
The mighty Smithsonian Institution has added "The Art of Video Games" to its roster of exhibits, quashing all arguments from movie critic, Roger Ebert, who continues to publicly maintain the video games are not "art," much to the delight of tens of thousands of artists who work in the games industry.

The exhibit is set to open on March 16, 2012 in the Washington, D.C. location, 3rd floor of the North, American Art Museum. Billed as "one of the first to 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," the show will run through September 30 of that same year.

For the selection process, the institution held a worldwide vote back in February with participants spanning some 175 countries. The Smithsonian reports that it tallied almost 4 million votes from an electorate comprised of almost 120,000 people. The group collectively selected 80 games from 20 different game systems to form the structure of the exhibit, from Rick Maurer's Space Invaders on the Atari VCS in 1980, through Yu Suzuki's groundbreaking Shenmue (pictured) for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000, up to present interactive opuses such as David Cage's Heavy Rain for the PlayStation3.

In addition to the 80 games on display, the exhibit will fittingly feature five games that visitors can actually play, namely Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and World of Warcraft.

Founded by British scientist, James Smithson, the Smithsonian Institution is an "establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men." Ironically, Smithson never set foot in the country that accommodates his momentous contribution to the preservation of Americana, art, literature and world antiquities.
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Newsroom Notes
Smithsonian to exhibit video games as art

File Under:
Announcement, Event, Historical, Retro, Smithsonian Institution, General Use, Legacy Systems, Videogame
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