Video Games as a Part of a Museum Collection

Did you know that video games are considered art? Some of them have even been bought back in 2012 by The Museum of Modern Art in New York and are displayed as a part of their permanent collection. You might be confused by this as it is rather difficult to think of some video games we have been playing for years showcased in a museum right next to paintings and sculptures, even though a lot of you would agree that the bonus you get when you perform a Bet9ja registration is a work of art. However, this action was well thought over and explained by Paola Antonelli, the senior curator of architecture and design at MoMA.

Why are video games considered art?

If you look at it this way, video games are basically design and they can be judged by the quality of their visuals and aesthetic, just like a painting. They also carry a huge cultural significance as the past couple of decades could not be imagined without them. They shaped generations of people so much that we now have professional gamers and video game tournaments. Moreover, video games are alive and dynamic and they let us live in somebody else’s creation. They invite us to be interactive, to shape and affect our own experience. In a sense, they are the art form that transcends the art. 

Which games are included in MoMA?

In 2012, MoMA bought 14 video games, and on the list, you will find all the classics that we loved and enjoyed as children, and some of which we still regularly play. These games can be considered staples in every gamer’s life. The 14 games include 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), and Canabalt (2009). These are not the only games MoMA wanted to include, but for the others, we will probably have to wait a couple of years. Some of the games that might be included in the future are The Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing, Super Mario and Minecraft.

First reactions

First reactions from the critics were not in MoMA’s favor as a lot of people stated that video games should never be a part of an exhibit and that it is ridiculous putting them next to Picasso and Van Gogh. However, the curators of the museum were not alarmed by this, and as they say, there is a history of new forms of art being looked down on and judged, until, after a couple of years, they are naturally seen as art. They also point out that it would be ignorant not to include something that has been a staple in people’s lives for more than 50 years.  

No violence

In the process of acquiring the video games, the museum had to have a clear set of rules and preconditions for each game, and one of the most important ones was that the games weren’t violent. Many claimed that this rule excluded some of the most popular games, such as Grand Theft Auto, which started the debate about violent games being included in museums. The debate is still ongoing, but games such as Street Fighter we’ll be fine since martial arts are not seen as plain violence.