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Smithsonian To Unveil The Art Of Video Games Exhibit

There was a time when Pong could fascinate the hell out of a family. There was also a time not long after that when the industry all but disappeared forever (look up the Big Video Game Crash on Wiki, if you need to).

But things have changed a great deal and nowadays, video games are ingrained in our culture and are enjoying a huge surge of popularity. It's also gaining ground in terms of legitimacy amongst the mainstream crowds and more experts are recognizing gaming for what it is: an artistic medium. If you need proof, there's no better evidence than the exhibit that will run between March 16, 2012 and September 9, 2012 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum: The Art of Video Games, inspired by over three decades of growing creativity, imagination and innovation. The description of the exhibit is as follows:

"Many museums have explored art inspired by video games, but this exhibition will be the first to examine comprehensively the evolution of video games themselves as an artistic medium. From the Atari VCS to the Playstation 3, The Art of Video Games will show the development of visual effects and aesthetics during four decades, the emergence of games as a means for storytelling, the influence of world events and popular culture on game development, and the impact that the games can have on society. It will include multimedia presentations of game footage, video interviews with developers and artists, large prints of in-game screen shots, historic game consoles, and a selection of working game systems for visitors to play. In addition, the public will be asked to assist with the selection of materials for the show by choosing the games that they feel best represent particular moments in the overall timeline."

That right there ought to make you feel proud and in some ways, a little vindicated. How many times have you tried to tell the disbelieving parent that gaming was more than what they think it is? How many times have you heard conversations concerning movies and music at get-togethers, only to think, "why can't video games be included in the discussion?" It's still over two years away but the announcement of this exhibit really is like a beacon for veteran gamers.

12/8/2009 9:45:31 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (48 posts)

kevinater321
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 9:59:48 PM
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Haha Pong still facinates me!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 10:01:23 PM
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Interesting story, I'd like to see that exhibit. Maybe it will take us a step further into social acceptance of games as an art form.

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Riku994
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 10:11:57 PM
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But... This might be the most amazing thing I won't see before December 21st :P

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Kiwi of DOOM
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 10:15:48 PM
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YES

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tes37
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 10:18:14 PM
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Hopefully it turns into an exhibit that can be moved around to different museums so more people can check it out.

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Kowhoho
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 10:22:00 PM
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Bout time!
I've given up trying to impress my dad though; I had him take a look at Uncharted 2 and he said, "well you can still tell it's a game by lookin at it." They just don't understand us gamers! :,(

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Alienange
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 10:34:49 PM

Did you mention to him that you can tell it's just music by listening to it?

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Kowhoho
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 10:47:12 PM

Lol, he meant it still looked "cartoony." He tries to humor me, at least.

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Superman915
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 11:26:09 PM

unless your pops is a techno geek, i doubt he'll be too impressed by Nathan Drake running around. Show him a sports game if you really wanna impress him. I showed my dad the FIFA 10 demo and his jaw dropped.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 11:45:24 PM

My dad thought Tomb Raider looked amazing back in 1996, I've had it easy.

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Xbox_Killer
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 2:10:46 AM

You should hear my dad. He thinks PS1 games look like PS3 games.

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shaydey77
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 10:12:13 AM

my mom robbed my SEGA bout ten years ago. Found it plugged in yesterday. Most annoying sound of 'Columns' back on the tv again.. Yet she wont play a single game on the ps3 feeling they are 'too complicated looking'!!

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Alienange
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 10:39:01 PM
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You brought up a good point there Ben when, in speaking about conversations concerning movies or music, you ask "why can't video games be included in the discussion?"

You are absolutely right. I don't even squirm any more when video games are just left by the wayside in conversations. But you know what I DO see more and more of? Someone ELSE is squirming. Someone ELSE in the group wants to talk games. The numbers are growing Ben. The numbers are growing... and soon, we will have our day.

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Kowhoho
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 10:50:49 PM

Insert Visari-esque gamer speech here.

"They will know, that Earth belongs to the Gamers..."
BUH!

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LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 11:02:44 PM

and then Nuclear bomb goes off? and all the gamers know what to do but everyone has no idea? LOL

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shaydey77
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 10:13:41 AM

Yep... get ready for fallout 3! :D

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Alienange
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 5:28:19 PM

One day it's going to be "Hey did you see this movie?" and six people are going to say "the movie sucked compared to the game."

Can I get a Booyah! ?

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Kowhoho
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 7:32:13 PM

Booyah!

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Solid Fantasy
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 10:59:06 PM
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I think this is a good move. I can see the gaming community gathering some more positive interest from the outsiders of video games with this addition to the Smithsonion. I look forward to it. Maybe someday We'll all be teaching video game history like it was a major.

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___________
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 11:10:18 PM
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i really cant see it happening.
i really cant.
i went to the laser clinic today, and was chatting up one of the ladies there.
and she asked me what i was studying at tafe, i told her programming.
and her instant response isent that a little geeky?
im sorry but this stereotype of games will never go away.
i told my parents what i want to study next year, i told them i want to do a game development class and my father almost bit my head off..
i really cant see this going away, it would be nice if it did but i really cant see that happening.

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 11:17:44 PM

Do your best!!!
Make your dream game in the future and share with us all!!

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 11:46:28 PM

Don't encourage him, please.

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Highlander
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 12:16:09 AM

Unfortunately our society is dominated by dullards who believe that science is full of BS and that they can understand physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, Computer Science, climatology, biology, medicine and just about every other field of scientific endeavor just as well as those who have spent decades working in the field. They believe that they are equipped to make judgments and decisions regarding the accuracy or value of scientific work, because they 'understand' it.

Forget for the moment that the number of numerate degrees is shrinking in most western countries and that belief in the para-normal is rampant. Forget that more Americans than ever before believe in a literal 7 days of creation. Forget that the previous president thought that climate change was what happened in May when spring gave way to summer.

We live in an odd time when technology and science have never been more important to our society, and yet the understanding and trust in science is at a low point.

So yes, let the dullards call your programming course geeky, and celebrate the fact that you are gaining a technical education.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 12:23:37 AM

Highlander, we all know it took 7 days, come on!

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tes37
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 6:50:17 AM

I thought it was 6 days and 1 day of rest.

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___________
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 7:21:26 AM

para-normal?
o please i dont understand how people can believe in that crap!
one thing that completley freaked me out, like nothing has scared me this much in my entire life.
i remember when my grandfather was really sick, i went to ask him if he wanted a coffee than left the room.
turned arround had no idea why, looked at him for what felt like a eternity than the words "goodbye grandpa" slipped out.
never did i think or never was i intending of doing that, it just slipped out.
and that was the last time i ever saw him.
not saying i believe in ghosts and such, but how do you explain that?
its like i knew it was the last time i was going to see him.

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 5:23:19 PM

Yeah, I agree there are certain things you can't grasp from reading a book, or from being told, and you can only learn by living life. It's like trying to show sight to a blind person, or explaining sound to a deaf person. They won't be able to relate unless they had experienced it at some time.

And no sweat about your Dad. That's common behavior among a lot of fathers. He's more concerned about you paying your bills than living your dreams, because you'd be doing the latter on his expense while he'd be doing the former. And he'd probably blame everything that's wrong with his son on games, but if you show daily that your responsible with your life, he'd change his stance sooner or later.

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Highlander
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 10:28:26 PM

@tes

6 + 1 = 7

...speaking literally of course...

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Fane1024
Friday, December 11, 2009 @ 4:21:38 PM

You can learn anything from a good book or from being told by someone who knows better than you. You just have to pay attention.

Also, willful ignorance is not limited to rejection of science.

On topic: suck it, Roger Ebert.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 12/11/2009 4:30:43 PM

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BTNwarrior
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 11:41:01 PM
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so this will kinda be like the credits to modern warfare 2?

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 @ 11:46:53 PM

I never got to see them :(

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Highlander
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 12:17:03 AM
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I love it. Finally gaming will get a place in history. Every other major cultural influence in the last century has a mark in the history texts, it's time for gaming to get it's place.

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Arvis
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 3:35:14 PM

Hitomi, from Real Bout High School?

-Arvis

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Highlander
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 9:16:01 PM

Mizuho Kazami from Please Teacher.

Somewhere I have a much different picture of her that I will pair up with my old Kos-mos one. That should make for a great avatar.

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NeoHumpty
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 12:30:32 AM
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And only an hour drive for me. The kid will be the perfect age then. Awesome. I see a pilgrimage happening.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 3:49:38 AM
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It'll take me about 21/2 hours(if I don't go easing up on my leadfoot).

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 3:57:21 AM
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Oh snap....I already have a mini-sized Smithsonian collection in my own living room.

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geovanwitdakick
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 7:42:16 AM
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is this in New York, Manhattan to be exact? I swear I've been there on a 6th grade school trip.

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SvenMD
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 8:05:53 AM

Washington DC.

Not to be confused with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park,
or the MoMA,
or the Guggenheim,
or the Whitney Museum of American Art....

Hey, maybe we can take a psxextreme field trip.
Good times.

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Squirreldriver
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 1:56:19 PM

Yay Field Trip!! Bust out the permission slips Ben! ;)

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RadioHeader
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 7:54:28 AM
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"The Art of Video Games, inspired by over three decades of growing creativity, imagination and innovation."

Just three little decades... we are all noobs! What wonders does the future hold?

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Thrill Kill
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 8:37:27 AM
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yoshitaka amano....hell yes

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NeoHumpty
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 10:00:25 AM
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What the heck? Did someone go and down-vote everyone? What a dork. Must be mad because he lives too far away.

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Squirreldriver
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 2:00:30 PM

PSX Extreme seems to have had a nasty case of the 'Trolls' lately. Hmmm, maybe they don't have any good exclusives to play?

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 8:45:53 PM

@NeoHumpty
it's just a tiny pea-sized 8 year troll with a really giant set of 18 inch thumbs.

That's why he has so much trouble holding them in any of the more natural up-right positions.

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BigBoss4ever
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 2:03:31 PM
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i will be going and finding my favorite NES games to be displayed and played by mordern day gamers. so much fonded memories

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 12/9/2009 2:03:52 PM

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Banky A
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 8:12:09 PM
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The 'thumbs down' police is here =]

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NeoHumpty
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 @ 10:40:54 PM

Please place your beard against the wall and your thumbs where we can see them!

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