Sunday, February 20, 2011

Van Gogh, Picasso, Nintendo: Smithsonian Recognizes "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" for the Atari 2600 as a Work of Art

This is your chance to sneak video games into the Smithsonian! From February 14, 2011 - April 7, 2011, anyone and everyone can vote for which games will be included in an exhibit called "The Art of Video Games," scheduled to be on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from March 16, 2012 - September 30, 2012. Which is funny, 'cuz half the games on the list are Japanese.

A whopping 240 video/computer games are up for consideration, from systems as far back as the Atari 2600 to as recent as whatever newfangled gizmos you kids play these days. Naturally, there's a strong presence of mainstream series such as Mario, Final Fantasy, and Halo, but there's also a terrific number of more obscure games that are present for their artistic merit, such as Flashback: The Quest for Identity and The Typing of the Dead, which made me REALLY HAPPY to see on the list.

You can vote for 80 games in total, and the voting is broken down into categories so that you're not pitting the GameCube's elegant Metroid Prime 2 against the original NES Metroid, a color-blob masterpiece. You are given three choices per genre per system per era, which is actually tougher at times because Chrono Trigger, Link to the Past, and EarthBound all fall under the same category. Augh, the delightful agony of deciding!

That's part of the fun in voting--it's not all about how much you love the game, but about which of the three options is the most beautiful, the most unique, the most indicative of the category, or the most deserving to hang on a wall in the Smithsonian.

Read more about the exhibit, or go vote already!

Remember, your vote counts! Unless you don't vote for Mega Man 2, in which case I can find out where you live.

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