This contributes to the sense that the gallery isn't made for those of us who have been through the "games as art" debate a thousand times. It's not speaking to people who are constantly neck-deep in video game information and discussion. We already know of the artistry, and we recognize it all the time. Depending on your personal feelings, you might also believe the games themselves are artistic works. This exhibit doesn't seem particularly interested in broaching that subject.
Instead, it serves as more of a reflection on the machinations of the game-making process. In terms of displaying games as an artistic medium, it's a baby step, made more for beginners and casual or lapsed fans who haven’t put much thought into the question. That's not entirely a bad thing. For games to be considered an artistic medium, either by artistry or artifact, guiding the mainstream consumer to probe the question is an important early step. As the medium's showcase in a national art gallery, it serves its purpose. It is an introduction to the uninitiated.
It is unfortunate, however, that the inclusions feel so constrained by hamstrung genre definitions. Each console includes a representative of Action, Target, Adventure, and Tactics. These four genres are defined so bizarrely, and in such a sweeping manner, that some games go unrepresented while others get a place at the table. No one would argue against the inclusion of games like Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, or BioShock. But the genre choice means we also see examples like Worms: Armageddon for the N64, or Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth on the Xbox 360. If a system had a wealth of great platformers or shooters, why restrict it to one example while praising other games that didn't do as much to define the console's identity?
A trackball-powered interactive display