American Art Museum Announces Video Game Exhibition, Asks Public to Help Curate

After a rough patch there the last couple of months for the Smithsonian, it’s nice to read a press release with something a bit more positive; and it doesn’t get much more lighthearted than video games. The American Art Museum has announced an exhibition to launch in mid-March of next year called The Art of Video Games, which will highlight both background art and interactive, moving pieces as well. Beginning this week, the museum has asked for a bit of curatorial help, launching a site for the exhibition and asking visitors to vote for eighty games from a collection of 240 currently considered titles, presumably with the interest of floating the most popular to the top, which will then find a home in the show itself. A fun idea, though we’re guessing the museum didn’t think it would be as wildly popular as it has apparently gotten. As of this writing (and observed last night), the exhibition’s site is still up, but with a note reading “Eek! Your enthusiasm has overwhelmed us and we’re experiencing technical difficulties! Please have patience while we fix this.” Assuming they’re able to get all those overloaded servers back up and running, you’ll have until April 7th to pick your favorites. Here are the details on the exhibition itself:

The Art of Video Games is the first exhibition to explore the forty-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies. The exhibition will feature some of the most influential artists and designers during five eras of game technology, from early developers such as David Crane and Warren Robinett to contemporary designers like Kellee Santiago and David Jaffe. It also will explore the many influences on game designers, and the pervasive presence video games have in the broader popular culture, with new relationships to video art, film and television, educational practices, and professional skill training. Chris Melissinos, founder of Past Pixels and collector of video games and gaming systems, is the curator of the exhibition.