MoMA has acquired 14 video games to be installed at the Museum’s Philip Johnson Galleries in March of next year. Among the old school games visitors will be able to play are Pac-Man, Tetris, and SimCity 2000.MoMA also has a list of roughly 40 video games it plans to acquire, including Nintendo games that are currently in ongoing negotiations. The world-famous modern art museum plans to incorporate Snake, Asteroids, Donkey Kong, and Super Mario 64, in addition to an assortment of others within the next few years.
The selected games were chosen due to their impressive interactive design. Not only based on aesthetic qualities, but on the quality of the code, functions, and behaviour — the rules, stimuli, and narrative of the games — as well.
Paola Antonelli, the Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture and Design at the MoMA, had this to say:
“In order to develop an even stronger curatorial stance, over the past year and a half we have sought the advice of scholars, digital conservation and legal experts, historians, and critics, all of whom helped us refine not only the criteria and the wish list, but also the issues of acquisition, display, and conservation of digital artifacts that are made even more complex by the games’ interactive nature. This acquisition allows the Museum to study, preserve, and exhibit video games as part of its Architecture and Design collection.”
The museum also addressed the challenges of incorporating certain games into the exhibition. Older games with fragile original cartridges would be translated into newer, updated code for modern computers. Games that take hours to play would become an interactive demonstration to give the player a taste for the game. And games that take years and millions of people to manifest will be made into guided tours with players and designers leading visitors around the game space to help them realise the full extent and possibilities of the virtual world.
See the full list of 14 video games that will be included in March 2013 below, and read more about the collection and games MoMA is planning to incorporate on the museum website.
- Pac-Man (1980)
- Tetris (1984)
- Another World (1991)
- Myst (1993)
- SimCity 2000 (1994)
- vib-ribbon (1999)
- The Sims (2000)
- Katamari Damacy (2004)
- EVE Online (2003)
- Dwarf Fortress (2006)
- Portal (2007)
- flOw (2006)
- Passage (2008)
- Canabalt (2009)
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