First Videogames Added to Smithsonian Museum's Permanent Collection

First Videogames Added to Smithsonian Museum's Permanent Collection

Flower Screen

Flower and Halo 2600 become permanent examples of art in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Thegamecompany's Flower and Ed Fries' homebrew Halo 2600 aren't new to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, but instead of being temporary house guests, now the two games are a permanent part of the family. The museum announced the acquisitions on Tuesday.

Flower and Halo 2600 were a part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Art of Video Games Exhibit, and the two games were on loan to the museum for exhibit visitors to experience. They will both still be available to play in the museum. Because Flower was distributed digitally only, developers Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago arranged for the museum to receive a copy of the game on a Blu-ray disc to go along with the museum's acquisition of a few PS3s.

Curator of film and media art Michael Mansfield of the Smithsonian American Art Museum said the PS3 consoles will "live with the artwork in perpetuity and be cared for along with the museum's other electronic artworks." Fries had already sold Halo 2600 as Atari cartridges, which the museum was able to acquire.

"Video games represent a vast, diverse and rapidly evolving new genre that is crucial to our understanding of the American story," Mansfield said. Flower and Halo 2600 are the beginning to the museum's hopes for investigating the material science of video games and developing best practices for digital preservation of games' source code.

The Art of Video Games exhibition began in 2012 and will continue through 2016 as a 10-city national tour. The exhibit is currently touring the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY.

Source: Smithsonian via Gamasutra

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I don't know about the Halo 2600 entry... I mean, I can't quite place it, but something doesn't feel right about it. Yes, its a cool... Thing, but demakes aren't new, this didn't exactly change the face of gaming. Better inclusions than Halo 2600....

1. Halo (duh)
2. Journey
3. Limbo
4. Bastion
5. Minecraft
6. GTA
7. Red Dead Redemption
8. Portal

I dunno, maybe there's something in the context of the exhibit that makes it seem reasonable.

Ok, Flower I can totally see. Beautiful and artistic.

But... Halo 2600? I mean, just... WHY?

I'm sure it's a perfectly good game, but I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around the reason for making it one of these two games.

martyrdrebel27:
I don't know about the Halo 2600 entry... I mean, I can't quite place it, but something doesn't feel right about it. Yes, its a cool... Thing, but demakes aren't new, this didn't exactly change the face of gaming. Better inclusions than Halo 2600....

1. Halo (duh)
2. Journey
3. Limbo
4. Bastion
5. Minecraft
6. GTA
7. Red Dead Redemption
8. Portal

I dunno, maybe there's something in the context of the exhibit that makes it seem reasonable.

Yeah, the inclusion of Halo 2600 raised some eyebrows with me as well. Most people don't even know what Halo 2600 is, and I highly doubt it's had even the slightest impact on the video game medium as a whole.

Yeah, I don't think either selection is meant to be the best game, or the best example of "games as art". It's just whatever the curator found interesting probably.

You know, they could just have Doom (quality/popular game and "breakthrough" in game design/engine) and explain the story behind id and that would have been a much more entertaining and educational experience then both these games.

I'll just leave this here:

 

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