Museum of Modern Art Launches 40 Strong Video Games Exhibition

Pac-Ma, Tetris and Dwarf Fortress are part of the first batch

By Andrei Dumitrescu on November 30th, 2012 12:10 GMT

The Museum of Modern Art in New York says that it is launching a 40-pieces strong collection of video games, which will be housed in the Philip Johnson Galleries in March 2013.

Initially, 14 titles will be included, but in time the respected art institution wants to add more games in order to get to 40.

The 14 video games that have been added to the permanent collection are:

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

The statement from the company reads: “The games are selected as outstanding examples of interaction design. Our criteria, therefore, emphasize not only the visual quality and aesthetic experience of each game, but also the many other aspects – from the elegance of the code to the design of the player’s behaviour – that pertain to interaction design.”

The Museum of Modern Art also wants to include:

Spacewar! (1962)
Magnavox Odyssey console games (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)
Minecraft (2011)

The museum says that it has consulted with scholars, legal experts, historians, critics and digital conservation experts in order to put together the list of featured pieces.

The institution adds, “Because of the tight filter we apply to any category of objects in MoMA’s collection, our selection does not include some immensely popular video games that might have seemed like no-brainers to video game historians.”
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