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Museum of Modern Art to Begin Featuring Games

Pac-Man, Passage, Myst, Portal amongst first 14 games in museum’s lineup.

New York’s prestigious Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has picked 14 games to become part of an installation debuting in March 2013. It hopes to eventually expand that list to about 40 games.

“Are video games art?” said the museum. “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.”

The first 14 games are as follows:

It’s interesting that two of the games games-- EVE Online, Dwarf Fortress--are still active and evolving, and will continue to change in the years to come. I hope the installation will reflect that!

MoMA’s blog post is exhaustive, breaking down the criteria it used--behavior, aesthetics, space, time--when choosing the games that were featured in this initial lineup.

The above 14 are not the only games to be featured at MoMA, however. The museum hopes to acquire many more, eventually hitting around 40 games, over the next several years, including:

If your favorite game ever isn’t featured, there may be a reason for that.

“Because of the tight filter we apply to any category of objects in MoMA’s collection," it wrote, "our selection does not include some immensely popular video games that might have seemed like no-brainers to video game historians."

Also, the first comment on the MoMA blog about Passage bums me out.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek

New York’s prestigious Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has picked 14 games to become part of an installation debuting in March 2013. It hopes to eventually expand that list to about 40 games.

“Are video games art?” said the museum. “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.”

The first 14 games are as follows:

It’s interesting that two of the games games-- EVE Online, Dwarf Fortress--are still active and evolving, and will continue to change in the years to come. I hope the installation will reflect that!

MoMA’s blog post is exhaustive, breaking down the criteria it used--behavior, aesthetics, space, time--when choosing the games that were featured in this initial lineup.

The above 14 are not the only games to be featured at MoMA, however. The museum hopes to acquire many more, eventually hitting around 40 games, over the next several years, including:

If your favorite game ever isn’t featured, there may be a reason for that.

“Because of the tight filter we apply to any category of objects in MoMA’s collection," it wrote, "our selection does not include some immensely popular video games that might have seemed like no-brainers to video game historians."

Also, the first comment on the MoMA blog about Passage bums me out.

Staff
Edited by Fredddi43

Portal deserves this.

Posted by Sooty

Street Fighter II, excellent! Okami next?

Edited by MarkWahlberg

The design elements and such involved certainly deserve recognition, but stuff like this always feels mildly pandering.

Posted by Fire_Of_The_Wind

Okami HD should be on that list, that game is like a painting in motion.

Posted by ChrisTaran

Man, no Ico or Shadow of the Colossus is the biggest rub for me!

Posted by RobertOrri

That's a nice list. Also, Jef2D sounds like a dullard.

@Sooty said:

Okami next?

No.

Posted by s10129107

FUCK YOU EBERT!

I'm so glad Grim Fandango is on the list.

Posted by RockinKemosabe

Grim Fandango! Yes!

Posted by TheGanjaKing

Their statement that these games are art matters more than their showing the games themselves.

Posted by Xpgamer7

Vib RIbbon!

Posted by alibson

I came in expecting to get mad, but those are actually pretty good choices.

Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab

DWARF FORTRESS. A GAME WITHOUT ART IS ART.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@s10129107 said:

FUCK YOU EBERT!

This is how I wake myself up in the morning.

Posted by Itwastuesday

No DOOM? What the fuck!?

Posted by bkbroiler

They should get some Journey in there! Everyone would be impressed by that.

Really cool to see Grim Fandango on the potential list, too.

Posted by Juliodepatatas

Surprised that flOw made the cut and Journey didn't.

Posted by Rayeth

@MuttersomeTaxicab: ASCII art is art.

Posted by nohthink

Grim Fandango!

Edited by Draxyle

That is a pretty intelligent listing of games there. I would definitely rank most of those as important milestones in videogaming.

And Grim Fandango? Wow, now they really need to put that on GOG or something so I can finally play it.

Posted by Pie

Coldplay does kinda suck though.

Posted by nohthink

They have flOw but no Journey?? BLASPHEMY!!

Posted by Toug

Portal is actually the the first thing I thought of when I read the headline. This is very cool.

Mario 64 being in an art museum will be the coolest way to ever play that game.

Posted by Draxyle

@nohthink said:

They have flOw but no Journey?? BLASPHEMY!!

That was my first thought, but it's a 2012 game. I'd imagine it'd be up for consideration within a few years.

Edited by Bumpton

I'd love to hear more about their vetting process for games they add. In terms of historically important games, I feel like this list is pretty damn flawless thus far.

Edit: They actually talk about it a bit in link to the museum's website. Good stuff.

Edited by wolf_blitzer85

Yar's Revenge still freaks me out. 
 
Also, it's cool to see that someone there knows what they're doing.

Posted by FunkasaurasRex

I'm disappointed by the omission of Super Mario World.

Posted by stinky
@TheGanjaKing said:

Their statement that these games are art matters more than their showing the games themselves.

graphic design category.
Posted by trolipo3

never heard most of those games, wheres cod4 which rwas the first fps?

Posted by MjHealy

Vib-Ribbon is great choice. Good lists overall, I have to say.

Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab

@Rayeth said:

@MuttersomeTaxicab: ASCII art is art.

Oh, fine. I know that. It's just amazing that the MoMA knows it, too!

Posted by NoobSauceG7

Persona 4 is a damn museum! Dammit!

Posted by Bumpton

@trolipo3 said:

never heard most of those games, wheres cod4 which rwas the first fps?

lolol, you so crazy.

Posted by CaLe

Metal Gear Solid 1 is art of the highest degree. All things considered, probably the best game ever made imo.

Posted by RollingZeppelin

Well, there you have it folks, games are officially art, we can all stop arguing about it now.

Posted by DevourerOfTime

I don't see how Canabalt fits in that list. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

Posted by Xeirus

OUT OF THIS WORLD, YES, YES, YES, yes, yes, ohhhhh yes

Posted by Icemo
@Fire_Of_The_Wind said:
Okami HD should be on that list, that game is like a painting in motion.
 Yes, very nice painting indeed...
Posted by Woodwater

WELL. I'm glad that finally settles it...

Posted by Flacracker

Machinarium is the most art. It has actual art in the game. Real art.

Online
Posted by Aeterna

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

DWARF FORTRESS. A GAME WITHOUT ART IS ART.

This, also surprised me. I think it's wonderful.

Posted by Nekroskop

I bet Notch is going to take another vacation after hearing this news.

Posted by BlueWolverine

flOw before Flower or Journey?

Posted by Draxyle

@CaLe said:

Metal Gear Solid 1 is art of the highest degree. All things considered, probably the best game ever made imo.

Thinking about that, MGS1 is a somewhat glaring omission from the list. I feel like that was the first game that truly delivered on a cinematic experience like no other; though I'm sure that's up for debate.

Posted by Johnnybombazini

Is this good or bad? also, why's there grim fandango but no maniac mansion?

Posted by vhold

My favorite game isn't included!  This is an outrage!

Posted by ZeroDoom

Dwarf Fortress but no NetHack?!

Posted by patrickklepek

@Pie said:

Coldplay does kinda suck though.

tru dat

Staff
Posted by Brodehouse

"INTERACTION DESIGN."

THANK FUCKING CHRIST SOMEONE IS PAYING ATTENTION.

Man, after a shitty couple days of arguing on Giant Bomb, hearing someone actually recognize interactive design, making gameplay systems, creating content that reacts, that it's actually art. I've spent the last three weeks planning my first night of a new tabletop campaign called Corundum; designing a narrative that offers choice and has to be ready for anything my players invent, gameplay systems that feel rewarding to control and be conflicted by, a setting that is original and still relatable, maps that offer player involvement and effective (and affective) moments, a sense of verisimilitude and their overall enjoyment. It has been a greater creative venture than if I had played music, wrote prose or drew a picture, and yet some wouldn't call it 'art'.

Thank you Museum of Modern Art. You are the best.

Posted by zerdune

Just played Passage since it was the only game on the list I didn't recognize. I didn't get it.

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