The Smithsonian wants you to decide which games count as "Art"
From March 16th 2012 to September 30 2012, the Smithsonian American Art Museum will be hosting The Art of Video Games, an exhibition that will explore the 40 year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, in what I can only assume is a massive F#$% you to film critic Roger Ebert. Kidding, kidding! It’s easy to take a swing at Mr. Ebert based on his comments regarding the artistic merit of the medium, but you’ve still got to respect someone who’s been in the criticism industry as long as he has. This is a man who’s witnessed the rise and fall of enough child actors to choke a whale with and to be fair, he’s elaborated on his own video game related comments. While not exactly retracting them, he did explain that there were 3 reasons for his decision to not pursue the argument. 1. He doesn’t play video games so he’s not the best judge of the medium. 2. He doesn’t want to waste 20-40 hours on a game. 3. He’s stubborn. As an amateur film critic and (oh gods I hope so) a semi-professional f-list video game critic, I have to respect anyone who can be that honest about themselves.
Ebert aside, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has decided that in addition to featuring the work of some of the more influential game artists and developers, they will also show still images and multimedia displays of 80 games from the last 40 years.
That’s where we come in.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum wants us (gamers, nerds, geeks, internetgoers, etc…) to select which games actually make it to the exhibition. By visiting their voting site http://www.artofvideogames.org/ you can register and vote on which games across 5 eras of game design will make it to the Smithsonian. So head on over and start your voting. The bloody Smithsonian wants you to help decide how we will continue to define the artistic merits of video games. Though I swear to the first 8 gods I can think of, I will kill someone if the Halo series makes the list.