The Smithsonian Museum has opened its exhibit on video games, so the Super Nintendo and the Xbox join Lincoln's stove-pipe hat and Fonzie's jacket in the national repository of cool things we want to remember about our history.
The Art of Video Games exhibit runs from now until September 30, and promises to "explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects, the creative use of new technologies, and the most influential artists and designers."
The idea was to take a few artistically striking or relevant titles from each of the major consoles released over the last 4 decades and allow the public to check them out, as well as consider the merit of the artistic contributions famous games have made to the larger culture, so games ranging from Pitfall on the Atari 2600 to Heavy Rain on the PlayStation 3 are represented at the museum. Sadly, there are only five games that are playable at the Smithsonian-- one for each of the "five major eras" of video games.
I wish I could make it to Washington D.C. to check out the collection. Instead, I'll just take a look at this video interview with Chris Melissinos, the currator of the video games exhibit, instead.
If you can't make it to the show, perhaps you could pick up the book? Here's a link to purchase The Art Of Video Games: From Pac-Man To Mass Effect by Chris Melissinos and Patrick O'Rourke.