Skip to main content

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
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.
2023 set an incredibly high bar for video game sequels
A screenshot from The Story So Far in Marvel's Spider-Man 2.

It's not an overstatements to say that 2023 was one of the best years for video game sequels ever.

Simply looking at The Game Awards 2023’s Game of the Year nominations, all of which are titles from preexisting series, proves that. It’s not just that we received a lot of new video game sequels in 2023; that happens every year. No, what makes the game sequels of 2023 stand out is how many of them impressively build upon what came before. From Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 to Baldur’s Gate 3, these follow-ups all looked at their predecessor, identified the weaker aspects, and directly addressed those issues.

Read more
Our favorite Switch games of 2023: Tears of the Kingdom, Mario, and much more
Link stands behind text that says Best Switch Games 2023.

If 2023 was our last full year with the Nintendo Switch, what a heck of a sendoff it got.

The rumor mill has been buzzing for months now, claiming that Nintendo plans to reveal and release its Switch successor next year. While that’s a rumor you should take with some skepticism, there’s good reason to believe it may happen. Nintendo reportedly showed off the system to developers behind closed doors at Gamescom this year, and the Switch’s current 2024 lineup feels like the final drop we’d get right before a new system. The Switch could be old news this time next year.

Read more
The Game Awards 2023: Here’s the complete list of winners
Key art for The Game Awards 2023.

This year was full of fantastic games and they were all celebrated at this year's Game Awards.

Between all of the new game premieres and release date announcements, the industry handed out several awards to some of our favorite games. Heading into the show, Larian Studios’ Baldur’s Gate 3 and Remedy Entertainment’s Alan Wake 2 had the most nominations — and they earned multiple awards each.

Read more