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Level Up, Geeks! Video Games are Now High-Falutin’ Art

Classic Arcade Games

You may be a video game geek, but after an announcement by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, you are also now a highbrow art enthusiast. This could make living in your mom’s basement the new “having a penthouse on the Upper East Side.”

That’s because MoMA has acquired and plans to install a permanent exhibit of – you guessed it – video games.

Video games have achieved a new level – you see what we did there – after MoMA has begun acquiring them for their collection of art. They’ve started their collection, which they hope will reach at least 40 video games, with an initial purchase of 14 games, including classics like Pac-Man, Tetris, Myst and SimCity, as well as more recent creations like Dwarf Fortress, Portal, Passage and Canabalt.

Your passion has now been justified. The MoMA firmly believes that video games are art. They also consider them to be great works of design, and that’s the approach they will use to curate their collection. In their announcement of the purchase, they said, “The games are selected as outstanding examples of interaction design – a field that MoMA has already explored and collected extensively, and one of the most important and oft-discussed expressions of contemporary design creativity.”

They also said of your favorite toys, “This acquisition allows the Museum to study, preserve, and exhibit video games as part of its Architecture and Design collection.” Which is fancy talk for video games getting an extra life.

They’ve selected video games not just based on their graphic design, but also on their cultural relevance, the elegance of their code design and their interaction design. This has left out some popular games that might seem like historical examples of major blips on the video game radar, but would not serve as artistic examples of video games fitting the Museum’s criteria of behavior, aesthetics, space and time.

Some other games they hope to include are Pong, Snake, Space Invaders, Asteroids, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Street Fighter II and Minecraft.

There was no indication of how many quarters you will need to get through all levels of the exhibit, and we can only hope they let you write your initials on the wall at the end.

NEXT: The Hardest Video Games Ever

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