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Game on: The Art of Video Games

15 Aug 2012

About a month ago I visited The Art of Video Games at the Smithsonian American Art Museum with my friend Diana. Sorry in advance for my [terrible!] phone photos.

It’s gotten quite a bit of press already that I’m afraid I don’t have much of interest to add to (here is a thoughtful review), but in a nutshell: it covers the past 40 years of video game art. The exhibit includes interviews of game designers and developers, conceptual art, video displays of 80 games (voted on by the public), and playable games (five, for the five eras of game technology).

[I would have loved to play some Super Mario Brothers, but the line was 10 kids deep so I chose to move on....]

Historic game consoles were also on display. (ugh, the games I played with as a kid are now “historic.”) We were interested to learn about the industrial design and engineering of the actual consoles, but that was not covered in this exhibit. Perhaps in a follow-up?

The designers describe their process and the materials and production techniques used in this blog post. There is also an upcoming gallery talk, “Building ‘The Art of Video Games’” on August 21. For those of you not in the D.C. area, the exhibit travels beginning late October.

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