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Smithsonian chooses titles to appear in Art of Video Games exhibition

okami screenshot capcomThe votes are in and the Smithsonian American Art museum has released a list of 80 video games which will be appearing in their Art of Video Games exhibition in 2012. The exhibit will also include a few playable games which the Smithsonian decision makers felt were essential to the idea of the project.

Participants had the chance to vote, from February 14, 2011 to April 17, for the titles which best represented different eras and genres of gaming as an artistic medium. The original pool of 240 titles were chosen based on their focus on visual appeal, creative use of new technologies and how influential the artist or designer was.

The Smithsonian’s summary of the video game art form’s 40-year evolution is broken into five eras, from “Start!” with Atari and ColecoVision, to “Next Generation” featuring consoles and games from the past ten years. Each console’s presentation is also divided into four genres: Action, Adventure, Target and Combat/Strategy.

The Super Mario and Legend of Zelda franchises seem to have the most winning titles, with Zelda having five (Chrono Trigger sadly lost out to Link to the Past). Some notable winners include: Earthworm Jim, Portal, Final Fantasy VII, Fallout, Uncharted 2 and Okami. There also were a few FPS titles such as Doom II and Goldeneye 007, though we couldn’t help but notice that Duck Hunt wasn’t even nominated.

final fantasy 7
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There will also be five games available for exhibition visitors to play for a few minutes, each video game taken from one of the five eras. The five ultimate video games include: Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst and World of Warcraft.

The Art of Video Games at the Smithsonian American Art Museum will be opening March 16, 2012 and be on display until September 30, 2012.

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Jeff Hughes
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I'm a SF Bay Area-based writer/ninja that loves anything geek, tech, comic, social media or gaming-related.
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