Smithsonian preparing 'Art of Video Games' opening

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is preparing to open its "Art of Video Games" exhibit, and has detailed an accompanying book, tour, and "GameFest" event to kick it all off.

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The Smithsonian American Art Museum is putting the finishing touches on its "Art of Video Games" exhibit, which is set to launch on March 16. After it wraps up its run in Washington, DC on September 30, it will continue on to several touring cities as well. The Smithsonian will also host GameFest, three days of panel discussions and retrospectives from industry experts starting on March 16.

The GameFest schedule teases panels, talks from Atari founder Nolan Bushnell and thatgamecompany's Robin Hunicke, and screenings of Tron and The King of Kong, among open play and musical performances. The exhibition will also feature a companion book from exhibition guest curator Chris Melissinos, titled The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect.

Touring cities include Boca Raton, Florida, Seattle, Washington, Yonkers, New York, Flint, Michigan, and Memphis, Tennessee. Additional venues may be included at a later date. The inclusions were decided in May of last year.

"Video games are a prevalent and increasingly expressive medium within modern society," said Melissinos in the announcement. "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."

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    January 17, 2012 12:45 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Smithsonian preparing 'Art of Video Games' opening.

    The Smithsonian American Art Museum is preparing to open its "Art of Video Games" exhibit, and has detailed an accompanying book, tour, and "GameFest" event to kick it all off.

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      January 17, 2012 4:07 PM

      I wonder if Ebert's gonna visit.

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        January 17, 2012 4:10 PM

        ebert is going to pee all over the exhibit

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        January 17, 2012 4:30 PM

        To be fair, art in video games is not the same thing as video games as art.

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          January 17, 2012 4:41 PM

          Ebert's an idiot and he's wrong. From the article. "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."

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            January 17, 2012 5:22 PM

            Ah okay, I didn't read the blurb. I saw the title "Art of Video Games" and assumed it meant "artwork from video games".

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        January 17, 2012 9:10 PM

        Who cares...why is everyone so hung up on him and games being art?

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          January 17, 2012 9:51 PM

          ^^^^^^ idgi either

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          January 17, 2012 10:18 PM

          We are passionate about Video Games and find it upsetting that a well-known man who criticizes films for a living is willing to judge our passion with little or no experience in the medium.

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          January 17, 2012 11:00 PM

          because it's kind of a core tenant of the whole free speech applying to games thing so if you like violent video games there needs to be some sort evidence that they can (at least potentially) contain some kind of social or cultural redeeming characteristics.

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      January 17, 2012 4:11 PM

      I hope they'll show off games that people consider to have artistic merit like Passage, To the Moon, and Fate of the World and it won't just be stuff like concept art from Zelda.

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        January 17, 2012 4:27 PM

        Here's the full list of games that will be on display, along with the nominees that were selected by the panel of gaming experts

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_Video_Games (oh wait, that list will be dark soon...)

        Heres the official site
        http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2012/games/winninggames/

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          January 17, 2012 5:29 PM

          Meh, pretty disappointing list. It looks more like a history of video games list rather than a list of games that show that the medium has artistic merit.

          Stuff like Call of Duty is important because of how popular it has but pretty lousy artistically. At least they have Grim Fandango and Ultima 4

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            January 17, 2012 8:21 PM

            The problem is the way they blocked out categories, stating there's 4 games from each major console that represent "art".

            Like, for example, how much can you really say the Atari 2600 helped towards art in video games? On the other hand, starting from the NES, SNES, etc. there's definitely a lot of games that pushed the consoles at the time for art's purpose.

            I think they specifically were going for "history of art" instead of the best art from games.

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        January 17, 2012 4:29 PM

        They appear to be acknowledging and expressing the notion, what's included in the actual exhibit is another question. From the article:

        Video games are a prevalent and increasingly expressive medium within modern society," said Melissinos in the announcement. "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."

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      January 17, 2012 4:43 PM

      [deleted]

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      January 17, 2012 5:00 PM

      Time for a DC shackmeet.

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