Game on — at a new exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum named the “Art of Video Games.” Running from March 16 to March 18, 2012, the three-day event highlights video games as a form of innovative art and will also include insightful talks by video game pioneers. he exhibition focuses on the point that such games have emerged through the decades not only as an evolving form of entertainment but also a unique place in popular culture.
“The goal of the exhibition isn’t to determine once and for all whether video games are art,” the BBC quoted guest curator Chris Melissinos as saying. “But us ‘bit-babies’ – those of us who were born in the 1970s and first appropriated these technologies into our lives – we’ve always viewed them as art, as something bigger than ourselves.”
Five important video games including Pac-Man and Myst will be displayed at the event. However, the attention is mostly on a display of 20 computer and gaming systems and short films explaining the relevance of four games on each of those platforms.
According to the New York Times, the purpose is to use these categories to demonstrate how games have become more sophisticated over the decades while also retaining common core elements. So while an Action game once meant Pac-Man or Donkey Kong, it now means Uncharted 2: Among Thieves or Super Mario Galaxy 2. You can see the Adventure category evolve from Pitfall! in 1982 to Heavy Rain in 2010.
Apart from displaying the artistic elements of video consoles, the exhibition also emphasizes the importance of technological and graphic achievements that drive the industry forward.