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In Pictures: The Art Of Video Games @ The Smithsonian

In Pictures: The Art Of Video Games @ The Smithsonian
By , Neil Perry, Daniel Sha, Matthew Vlasak, Conway Yen
Welcome To The Art Of Video Games

The history of video games is relatively brief; the first examples were created in the early 1970s. Because the medium is still so new, we have the pleasure of examining gaming with some of its most prominent highlights fresh in our own memories.

It was only a matter of time before video games started being thought of as art, and the first exhibition showcasing graphics, technology, and storytelling recently premiered at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Tom’s Hardware was on-hand to witness this extraordinary event.

Photo: © Conway Yen; Some images in this article supplied by and copyright Conway Yen

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  • 11 Hide
    jaquith , July 27, 2012 2:00 PM
    ...Crap I'm getting old! :(  The scary thing is I played on many of those consoles and games and now they're in a museum!
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    wiinippongamer , July 27, 2012 5:07 AM
    Having a good read right now.
  • 3 Hide
    Nintendo Maniac 64 , July 27, 2012 5:27 AM
    Star Fox Assult? Seriously? Really should have put Metroid Prime under "Target" and Smash Bros. Melee under "Action" instead.

    And no Sonic platformer for the Genesis?! What about BLAST PROCESSING?!


    EDIT: Oh, no wonder. Looking at the nominees, Melee never even got nominated (wat), and the only Sonic platformer nominated was Sonic CD - the one most people never got to play.

    If they were smart, they'd re-evaluate the consoles that are 2001 and newer in say, 10-20 years since it'll be considerably more obvious which games have stood the test of time as notable. This is especially true for the current generation systems which still have some big titles coming out (Xenoblade in particular comes to mind).
  • 0 Hide
    buzznut , July 27, 2012 5:41 AM
    Spy vs spy?????
  • 2 Hide
    silverblue , July 27, 2012 7:24 AM
    Very happy to see the Master System in there (my first console), but even happier to see three Panzer Dragoon titles, of which I am currently replaying Saga (my favourite game ever).
  • 0 Hide
    Super_Nova , July 27, 2012 9:32 AM
    Great to see Gradius V, Panzer Dragoon series, Rez and Spy vs Spy (loved those games) and I agree they withstood the test of time very well but where are f.i. Radiant Silvergun and Nights in to dreams (Saturn)? I also miss something about arcade games throughout the years.
  • 4 Hide
    shin0bi272 , July 27, 2012 1:49 PM
    no turbografix 16? tisk tisk

    Also Im pretty sure mass effect was a big game on pc not just friggin minecraft or flow
  • 0 Hide
    spookyman , July 27, 2012 1:50 PM
    buzznutSpy vs spy?????


    The reason Star Fox was chosen because it was an actual 3D game on SNES, which at the time had just a simple 16bit processor. It pushed the limits of the system.

    Yes I agree that missing Sonic for Sega Genesis was not good choice. Though Earthworm Jim was very popular back then.
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , July 27, 2012 1:53 PM
    No love for FreeSpace 2 under DOS/Windows? :( 
  • 11 Hide
    jaquith , July 27, 2012 2:00 PM
    ...Crap I'm getting old! :(  The scary thing is I played on many of those consoles and games and now they're in a museum!
  • 1 Hide
    allawash , July 27, 2012 2:03 PM
    Anybody who owned a Saturn and played Guardian Heroes knows it should have been listed for action on that console. Hands down the best sides scrolling action game I ever played.
  • 3 Hide
    Tooki , July 27, 2012 2:43 PM
    Why is Flower included in the "Five Games That Changed Gaming." I can think of about 50 games that were more influential than Flower right off the top of my head.
  • 0 Hide
    nforce4max , July 27, 2012 4:11 PM
    I am glad that Dune made the list but just not where I wanted. Second where is the Amiga, no history or exhibit is complete without the Amiga. I feel cheated in a way by reading this and seams very very bare bones with no meat or very little sustenance.
  • 2 Hide
    rsktek , July 27, 2012 4:12 PM
    What, how did minecraft get on the list -_-
  • 0 Hide
    greatsaltedone , July 27, 2012 5:18 PM
    ^^ Seriously... Might as well include Day Z
  • 0 Hide
    fedelm , July 27, 2012 5:25 PM
    nforce4maxI am glad that Dune made the list


    Ah...good old Dune 2. The first game I ever managed to beat.

    Except with the fckng Ordos, that was a hard campaign!!

    I agree: how did MC get on the list? Wtf?

    And even though it's a game I've never played, I guess WOW should be there too, right? It has been greatly influencial (for better or worse).

    Cheers.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 27, 2012 6:43 PM
    oh c'mon, How can "Contra" not be on the list for 8bit Nintendo? FFS they made t-shirts out of the cheat code! Say it with me: up up down down left right left right a b a b
  • 1 Hide
    dalethepcman , July 27, 2012 7:21 PM
    I am just happy they didn't put "Farmville" in there....
  • 0 Hide
    whiteodian , July 27, 2012 7:23 PM
    I just want to say eat it Roger Ebert! Roger Ebert claimed video games are not art. Well here they are in the Smithsonian Art Museum. The man is a fool.

    I also wanted to add that they are taking this on tour. I have to wait until 2013, but it will be a nice walk down memory lane.
  • 0 Hide
    zak_mckraken , July 27, 2012 7:47 PM
    ck44oh c'mon, How can "Contra" not be on the list for 8bit Nintendo? FFS they made t-shirts out of the cheat code! Say it with me: up up down down left right left right a b a b

    It's actually up up down down left right left right B A

    This list brings back a lot of memories! There's some titles that I regret never taking the time to try. I think I'll borrow my friend's PS2 and fire Shadow of the Colossus.
  • -1 Hide
    lp231 , July 27, 2012 8:08 PM
    While some games deserves their spot to be on the list, most of the games that made it are voted by idiots. They're probably voted by those who never played any of them or just pick it because it's recently popular.
    If there is a exhibit of coffee, many would pick StarBucks. >_>
    At least Angry Birds isn't in there...

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