Museum of Modern Art Adding Video Games to Collection

The Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA for those of you who love acronyms, has acquired a selection of 14 video games to be added to a brand new category of artworks in their collection.  The initial 14 games are just a taste of what they hope will grow to about 40 in the near future.  This initial group will be included in the Museum’s Philip Johnson Galleries in March of 2013.

The initial games list includes a wide variety ranging from Pac-Man to The Sims to Portal.  The selections were chosen for their outstanding examples of interaction design, a field that MoMA has already explored extensively.  The criteria for inclusions emphasizes not only visual quality and the aesthetic experience, but other aspects such as elegance of code and the design of palyers behavior.  

In curating such a wide array of games in the list, the museum sough the advice from scholars, digital conservators, legal experts, historians and critics, all who helped not only refine the criteria and list, but also the issues of acquisition, display and conservation of digital artifacts. 

The initial group of 14 games are:

? Pac-Man (1980)
Tetris (1984)
Another World (1991)
Myst (1993)
SimCity 2000 (1994)
vib-ribbon (1999)
The Sims (2000)
Katamari Damacy (2004)
EVE Online (2003)
Dwarf Fortress (2006)
Portal (2007)
flOw (2006)
Passage (2008)
Canabalt (2009)

And in the future they will complete the initial selection with Spacewar! (1962), an assortment of games for the Magnavox Odyssey console (1972), Pong (1972), Snake (originally designed in the 1970s; Nokia phone version dates from 1997), Space Invaders (1978), Asteroids (1979), Zork (1979), Tempest (1981),Donkey Kong (1981), Yars? Revenge (1982), M.U.L.E. (1983), Core War (1984), Marble Madness (1984), Super Mario Bros. (1985), The Legend of Zelda (1986), NetHack (1987), Street Fighter II (1991), Chrono Trigger(1995), Super Mario 64 (1996), Grim Fandango (1998), Animal Crossing (2001), and Minecraft (2011).

For a detailed explanation of why the games were chosen and other information about MoMA visit their website.

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