The Smithsonian is recognized as an authority on historic relics and art from bygone eras, certainly. But it’s not exactly known for its expertise on digital entertainment. That might be why the Smithsonian is enlisting the help of the gaming public for next year’s “The Art of Video Games” exhibition.
Gamers, or just those who appreciate the graphic artistry of video games, can choose from a pool of 240 titles, released on 20 consoles and covering four genres: action, adventure, target and combat/strategy. Voters can select up to 80 titles after registering on the exhibition’s website.
Of course, as processors have gotten faster and disk space cheaper, game developers have increasingly infused gameplay with spectacular, movie-like visuals. But that doesn’t mean the Smithsonian is going to overlook gaming’s humble beginnings. The exhibitions curators have decided to cover the entire history of gaming from 1981’s Pac-Man to 2010’s Call of Duty: Black Ops. The pool of titles were selected for their innovations in design, visual appeal and graphical achievements.
Voting will continue online until April 7 and the results will be announced in May. The exhibition is slated to open in March 2012 and will be held at the The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. The exhibition is expected to include stills, interviews with designers as well as five playable games: Pac-Man, The Secret of Monkey Island, Super Mario Brothers, Myst and World of Warcraft