Let's set aside the tedious debate over whether or not games are art and skip to a practical question: how would you display a game as a piece of art? Simply leaving the game running for visitors to play won't mean anything to people who aren't game-literate, especially if it's something complex. EVE Online is facing that problem now, having been selected for the Museum of Modern Art's new permanent video game collection, and is turning to players for help.
Showing a game as complex as EVE in a museum filled with other important exhibits, through which 3.5 million people pass every year, comes with its challenges. How can we tell the full story of EVE, and explain its depth and complexity in 2-3 minutes? That is how long the average attendee spends at each exhibit," CCP ponders in a blog post.
Its solution is to capture and present a day in the space sandbox MMO, with all the squillion different things going on and its innumerable complexities. CCP's planning a 5-10 minute presentation with infographics, video it'll whip up, and video the players will capture.
"Our infographics will display market activity, NPC kills, player kills, jumps and all those metrics that explain how vibrant and alive our world is. The player captured gameplay videos will give it a human face. Whatever you are doing that night, whether it is running plexes, hauling ore, hunting with a small gang in losec, or fighting in a large fleet engagement, we ask that you record it, both video and sound and chatter, upload it and allow us to celebrate it in a montage of New Eden awesomeness."
Sunday, December 9 is the big day, so undock and be glorious. The world's watching.
MoMA's initial selection of 14 games also includes the likes of Pac-Man, Portal, Passage, The Sims, and Dwarf Fortress. That last one's another that'll require special presentation. The collection is due to open in March 2013.