Press Start: Museum of Modern Art to Showcase Video Game Collection

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To all those people who scoff at video games and see them as nothing but wastes of time and a way to lose brain cells, here’s some well-deserved egg on your face: By March 2013, The Museum of Modern Art is planning to present a gallery showcasing select video games that have left an indelible mark on popular culture in addition to other qualities that make them artistic pieces in their own right. At last, someone out there has discerning taste!

Currently, the museum has acquired 14 video games to be plugged in and on display for the month of March within their Philip Johnson Galleries. The gaming assortment includes arcade classics such as Pac-Man as well as modern hits like the bizarrely addictive Katamari Damacy, but this isn’t by any means a popularity contest. As we said earlier, each game must undergo the strictest of reviews by the MoMa’s staff of curators and meet the criteria for being labeled a work of art. Senior Curator Paola Antonelli said in an entry on the MoMa’s Inside/Out blog:

Are video games art? They sure are, but they are also design, and a design approach is what we chose for this new foray into this universe. The games are selected as outstanding examples of interaction design—a field that MoMA has already explored and collected extensively, and one of the most important and oft-discussed expressions of contemporary design creativity. Our criteria, therefore, emphasize not only the visual quality and aesthetic experience of each game, but also the many other aspects—from the elegance of the code to the design of the player’s behavior—that pertain to interaction design

In the future, the museum hopes to expand this collection even further by acquiring another 26 games, bringing the grand total to an impressive 40, all of varying genres and consoles. Looks like we’re going to have to forgo lunch well into the spring if we want to save our quarters.

(Inside/Out via Boing Boing, image via Sam Howzit)

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