The Smithsonian American Art Museum has announced its intention to create one of the first major exhibitions which explores the art of video game design. “The Art of Video Games” will begin on March 16th and run until September 30th and will look at the history of games and their evolution as an artistic medium.
The exhibition will explore some of the most influential artists and designers across five eras of game development in the gaming industry who have contributed ground breaking artwork over the course of the past 40 years.
Guest curators are to include Chris Melissinos, the former chief evangelist and chief gaming officer for Sun Microsystems and founder of Past Pixels. The gaming museum exhibition will take to the road following its run in Washington DC, in order to reach a wider audience, and is expected to visit 10 US cities.
“Video game designers are engaged in creating a world, as are all artists, ” said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
“The Smithsonian American Art Museum recognizes the designers and developers who create these beguiling worlds in this exhibition. Contemporary video games have taken this creative expression to a whole new level, and we are eager to explore this popular global phenomenon.”
“Video games are a prevalent and increasingly expressive medium within modern society, ” said Melissinos.
“In the 40 years since the introduction of the first home video game, the field has attracted exceptional artistic talent. Video games, which include classic components of art, offer designers a previously unprecedented method of communicating with and engaging audiences by including a new element, the player, who completes the vivid, experiential art form by personally interacting with the game elements.”
The Smithsonian exhibit will focus on the interplay of graphics, technology and storytelling and will feature some of the best games from 20 gaming platforms, from the Atari VCS to the modern PS3. It is expected that 80 games will be selected which will fully demonstrate the evolution of the gaming industry through still images and video footage.
Visitors will also be treated to video interviews with top designers, an interior gallery of short videos and excerpts from interviews with the most influential figures in the gaming world.
Featured games have already been selected following a public vote in which more than 3.7 million votes were cast by 119, 000 people in 175 countries. A number of special events have also been planned including “Game Fest”, a three-day festival of talks and open game play; a detailed schedule can be found on the Smithsonian gaming museum website.
Images: kind courtesy Smithsonian Museum. Top-Matt Rhodes, Mass Effect 2, 2010, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows © 2010 Electronic Arts Inc.