Add plus-one for the recognition
of videogames as art: the Smithsonian has announced The Art of Video Games, an
exhibition on “the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with
a focus on striking graphics, creative storytelling and player interactivity.”
The Smithsonian American Art Museum will host this exhibition from March 16 to
September 30, with a tour across five states to follow.
The exhibit has a passionate
curator in Chris Melissinos, the man behind much of Sun Microsystems’s
open-source Java technology. According to Melissinos, video games incorporate
many classic components of art, as well as “a new element, the player, who
completes the vivid, experiential art form by personally interacting with the
The exhibition kicks off on March
16 with GameFest, featuring presentations by industry ground-breakers, such as
Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Bioshock’s Ken Levine, and Bioware Senior
Creative Director Paul Barnett. A full schedule is available online, as
is a preview of the exhibition's accompanying book.
As a Smithsonian exhibit, the The
Art of Video Games is publicly funded, and is also accepting donations. Anyone
who gives to support the project will have their name featured in the
exhibition’s “credits,” both online and at the museum. Those who wish to
have their name associated with “one of the first exhibitions in the world to
explore the evolution of video games as an artistic medium,” can donate here.