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The Art of Video Games: The Votes are In!
May 5, 2011

Today is a very exciting day! Earlier this year, American Art invited the public to help select the video games that will be included in its upcoming exhibition The Art of Video Games. Voting took place between February 14 and April 17, 2011, and we received more than 3.7 million votes from 119,000 people in 175 countries. What an overwhelming response! Today we announced the 80 winning games across 20 gaming systems. The exhibition explores the evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies. The winning games, along with the discussions on the forum and the emails we’ve received, show that people invested a lot of thought before casting their votes, considering (and sometimes debating) the artistic merits of each game. We are thrilled that this has generated so much discussion, and hope that this is just the beginning as we continue to develop the exhibition over the next ten months.

The 80 games will be displayed in the exhibition as screen shots and short video clips. In addition, the exhibition will feature five games for visitors to play for a few minutes, to gain some feel for the interactivity—Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and World of Warcraft. Here is the archived webcast of the announcement with the exhibition’s curator Chris Melissinos, founder of Past Pixels and collector of video games and gaming systems, and exhibition coordinator Georgina Goodlander.

Posted by Georgina on May 5, 2011 in American Art Here, Museums & Technology


This sounds like it was a very exciting project. I can't believe you were able to get 3.7 million votes. I wish I would have known about it. The video brought back great childhood memories. I even remember the cheats that I used for Donkey Kong. Thanks for the great website!

I just love those old-school games. With story and interesting game play. Sometimes I open SEGA emulator and remember good old times ;)

They really are the ART !

Finally, legitimate backing from the likes of the Smithsonian! The aesthetic beauty has been there from the infancy of gaming, and the audiovisuals have only improved with time. In the current generation, we're getting an almost movie-quality experience without the 2-3 hour time-constraint of the silver screen. From the simplicity of Donkey Kong to the visceral complexity of Xenosaga/Xenogears & Mass Effect among others, VG art is becoming a force with which to be reckoned!

1943: The Battle of Midway, After Burner, DUNE!!! How long ago? 15, 25 years? These are games that I will never forget.

I greatly respect the Smithsonian for taking on this project, especially at a time when those in Washington would have the same fate for video games as their fathers would for Rock 'n Roll and television.

However, I believe the voters have condemned themselves. The fact that Halo 2 won out over Psychonauts is disturbing. True, this is personal opinion, but Halo 2 did nothing to revolutionize art or video gaming, while Psychonauts won awards for art design and musical scoring, not to mention being one of the funniest games I've ever played.

A small point, yes, and I'm still going to see the exhibit, but many are poorer for having Halo 2 supplant Psychonauts.

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