The Art of Video Games @ Smithsonian


The Smithsonian American Art Museum  hosts a very special exhibition, to explore the forty-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies.

An amalgam of traditional art forms — painting, writing, sculpture, music, storytelling, cinematography — video games are an increasingly expressive medium and offer artists a previously unprecedented method of communicating with and engaging audiences: in the forty years since the introduction of the first home video game, the field has attracted exceptional artistic talent.

The exhibition features some of the most influential artists and designers during five eras of game technology, from early pioneers to contemporary designers, and is focused on the interplay of graphics, technology and storytelling through some of the best games for twenty gaming systems ranging from the Atari VCS to the PlayStation 3.

Eighty games, selected with a poll by the public that replied enthusiastically – more than 3.7 million votes were cast by 119,000 people in 175 countries! –  to the Smithsonian’s call, demonstrate the evolution of the medium. The games are presented through still images and video footage.

Five featured games, one from each era, show how players interact with diverse virtual worlds, highlighting innovative techniques that set the standard for many subsequent games. The playable games are Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and Flower.

Further the exhibition, there are video interviews with twenty developers and artists, large prints of in-game screen shots, and historic game consoles. A companion book, The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect, accompanies the exhibition.

The Art of Video Games will travel to 10 cities in the United States following its presentation in Washington, D.C. and the tour will end in January 2016.

For further information please visit the official page:


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