Are Video Games Art? The Smithsonian Thinks So.

By January 17, 2012 No Comments

Sure video games are pretty, but they aren't no "Dude, Where's My Car?"

There was a bit of a kerfuffle a short while ago when Roger Ebert, film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times declared that video games can never be art. Now, Roger Ebert makes an intelligent and well-thought out argument to support his views, but ultimately arguing whether or not something is art is a futile endeavour. The art world gave up on the idea ages ago. In light of the works of Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol and their kin, everyone has pretty much agreed that if an artist declares their work to be art, then so be it. A urinal installed in a gallery? Sure. A stack of Brillo boxes? Okay. Video games? Why not?

With this premise in mind,  a cool new exhibition opens this Spring at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. Running from March 16th – September 30, The Art of Video Games examines video games as an artistic medium through it’s forty year history. 80 games spanning the entire history of video games will be featured and were chosen with the help of the public from a list of hundreds. The exhibition includes all sorts of fun events including talks with industry legends Ken Levine and Nolan Bushnell, and performances by ComputeHer, 8 Bit Weapon, Triforce Quartet, and University of Maryland’s Gamer Symphony Orchestra. And the best thing? It’s travelling to the EMP Museum in Seattle next spring, so we’ll be able to check it out here from the comfort of the West-coast.

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