So I’ve been saying all this time that games are art. Most of us agree that games are art. The people who don’t think games are art are usually unqualified to formulate a meaningful opinion on the topic. The US Supreme Court acknowledged games as a kind of art, that deserve first-amendment protection. Games are getting more and more recognition in our culture as acceptable art forms: the Smithsonian did a whole exhibit on video game art.
I don’t think I need to convince any of you of game’s artistic merits. But still, it’s always lovely to have more professional validation, and in that spirit, the Museum of Modern Art in New York (you know, the prestigious one) has recently indoctrinated 14 choice games into it’s sacred halls, acknowledging each one as art, and promising that “more will come”.
On the official Museum of Modern Art website, they call this “the seedbed for an initial wish list of about 40 to be acquired in the near future, as well as for a new category of artworks in MoMA’s collection that we hope will grow in the future.”
Since you’re probably curious, the list of 14 games included thus far are:
Another World (1991)
SimCity 2000 (1994)
The Sims (2000)
Katamari Damacy (2004)
EVE Online (2003)
Dwarf Fortress (2003)
Oh, wow, a thatgamecompany game made the list. Where’s my surprised face? But in all seriousness, this is a pretty damn good list of games: some, like Canabalt and Dwarf Fortress, come as genuine surprises, while Portal, The Sims, and Pac-Man are to be expected.
On the official announcement page (which you can read here), they also list games they hope to include in the future: “Spacewar! (1962), an assortment of games for the Magnavox Odyssey console (1972), Pong (1972), Snake (originally designed in the 1970s; Nokia phone version dates from 1997), Space Invaders (1978), Asteroids (1979), Zork (1979), Tempest (1981), Donkey Kong (1981), Yars’ Revenge (1982), M.U.L.E. (1983), Core War (1984), Marble Madness (1984), Super Mario Bros. (1985), The Legend of Zelda (1986), NetHack (1987), Street Fighter II (1991), Chrono Trigger (1995), Super Mario 64 (1996), Grim Fandango (1998), Animal Crossing (2001), and Minecraft (2011).”
And there’s M.U.L.E again. It’s really looking like I need to make an effort to play that game, because everyone can’t seem to shut up about it.
Anyway, the display for these games will officially be up by March 2013, and I encourage you all to check it out, if you can. Otherwise, you may be complacent in knowing that our medium is still awesome and it’s awesomeness is getting more and more acknowledgement every day.