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The Art of Video Games Exhibit

In Gamer’s Anonymous, Mike provides news and opinions on everything related to video games and the virtual world we all live in.

Back in 2010, Roger Ebert wrote a heavily criticized piece in which he argued not only that video games are not art, but that they could “never be art.” While a game must have a set of rules, points and outcomes, true art such as cinema, painting or music has none of those obligations.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum would completely disagree with Ebert’s notion, as evident by a new exhibit called “The Art of Video Games.” This exhibit had its touring debut at the Boca Raton Museum of Art and will be touring throughout the country.

Upon entering the exhibit, the viewer arrives at a vibrant screen, fluttering images of different games throughout history. Even the first video game system, Atari VCS, is on display.

Over 80 games are featured throughout the exhibit, each one improving on the one before it. The colors, the characters, and the stories in these games transform into richly developed works of art that rival books and film.

One section of the exhibit contains playable video games, ranging from Super Mario Bros for Nintendo to Myst for the PC, as well as Secret of Monkey Island, Pac Man, and Flower. These games are meant to demonstrate the evolution of games throughout time. Beside the screens are giant monitors showing people’s faces as they play, including the dumbfounded faces of gamers entranced by their favorite game.

Curator Chris Melissinos says that he wants people to “understand that video games are more than what they thought they were when they came in” and I believe he achieves this.

0 1 542 17 January, 2013 Columns, Featured January 17, 2013

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