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MoMA

VIDEO GAMES: 14 IN THE COLLECTION, FOR STARTERS

November 29, 2012  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Design
Video Games: 14 in the Collection, for Starters

Now on View!

We are very proud to announce that MoMA has acquired a selection of 14 video games, the seedbed for an initial wish list of about 40 to be acquired in the near future, as well as for a new category of artworks in MoMA’s collection that we hope will grow in the future. This initial group, now installed for your delight in the Applied Design exhibition the Museum’s Philip Johnson Galleries, features:

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)

Over the next few years, we would like to complete this initial selection with Spacewar! (1962), an assortment of games for the Magnavox Odyssey console (1972), Pong (1972), Snake (originally designed in the 1970s; Nokia phone version dates from 1997), Space Invaders (1978), Asteroids (1979), Zork (1979), Tempest (1981), Donkey Kong (1981), Yars’ Revenge (1982), M.U.L.E. (1983), Core War (1984), Marble Madness (1984), Super Mario Bros. (1985), The Legend of Zelda (1986), NetHack (1987), Street Fighter II (1991), Chrono Trigger (1995), Super Mario 64 (1996), Grim Fandango (1998), Animal Crossing (2001), and Minecraft (2011).

Are video games art? They sure are, but they are also design, and a design approach is what we chose for this new foray into this universe. The games are selected as outstanding examples of interaction design—a field that MoMA has already explored and collected extensively, and one of the most important and oft-discussed expressions of contemporary design creativity. Our criteria, therefore, emphasize not only the visual quality and aesthetic experience of each game, but also the many other aspects—from the elegance of the code to the design of the player’s behavior—that pertain to interaction design. 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.

As with all other design objects in MoMA’s collection, from posters to chairs to cars to fonts, curators seek a combination of historical and cultural relevance, aesthetic expression, functional and structural soundness, innovative approaches to technology and behavior, and a successful synthesis of materials and techniques in achieving the goal set by the initial program. This is as true for a stool or a helicopter as it is for an interface or a video game, in which the programming language takes the place of the wood or plastics, and the quality of the interaction translates in the digital world what the synthesis of form and function represent in the physical one. Because of the tight filter we apply to any category of objects in MoMA’s collection, our selection does not include some immensely popular video games that might have seemed like no-brainers to video game historians.

Tetris. 1984. Alexey Pajitnov

Tetris. 1984. Alexey Pajitnov

Among the central interaction design traits that we have privileged are:

Behavior
The scenarios, rules, stimuli, incentives, and narratives envisioned by the designers come alive in the behaviors they encourage and elicit from the players, whether individual or social. A purposefully designed video game can be used to train and educate, to induce emotions, to test new experiences, or to question the way things are and envision how they might be. Game controllers are extensions and enablers of behaviors, providing in some cases (i.e. Marble Madness) an uncanny level of tactility.

Aesthetics
Visual intention is an important consideration, especially when it comes to the selection of design for an art museum collection. As in other forms of design, formal elegance has different manifestations that vary according to the technology available. The dry and pixilated grace of early games like M.U.L.E. and Tempest can thus be compared to the fluid seamlessness of flOw and vib-ribbon. Just like in the real world, particularly inventive and innovative designers have excelled at using technology’s limitations to enhance a game’s identity—for instance in Yars’ Revenge.

Space
The space in which the game exists and evolves—built with code rather than brick and mortar—is an architecture that is planned, designed, and constructed according to a precise program, sometimes pushing technology to its limits in order to create brand new degrees of expressive and spatial freedom. As in reality, this space can be occupied individually or in groups. Unlike physical constructs, however, video games can defy spatial logic and gravity, and provide brand new experiences like teleportation and ubiquity.

Time
How long is the experience? Is it a quick five minutes, as in Passage? Or will it entail several painstaking years of bliss, as in Dwarf Fortress? And whose time is it anyway, the real world’s or the game’s own, as in Animal Crossing? Interaction design is quintessentially dynamic, and the way in which the dimension of time is expressed and incorporated into the game—through linear or multi-level progressions, burning time crushing obstacles and seeking rewards and goals, or simply wasting it—is a crucial design choice.

 flOw. 2006. Jenova Chen and Nick Clark of thatgamecompany

flOw. 2006. Jenova Chen and Nick Clark of thatgamecompany

After which (games), came what—what is a museum to acquire? Working with MoMA’s digital conservation team on a protocol, we have determined that the first step is to obtain copies of the games’ original software format (e.g. cartridges or discs) and hardware (e.g. consoles or computers) whenever possible. In order to be able to preserve the games, we should always try to acquire the source code in the language in which it was written, so as to be able to translate it in the future, should the original technology become obsolete. This is not an easy feat, though many companies may already have emulations or other digital assets for both display and archival purposes, which we should also acquire. In addition, we request any corroborating technical documentation, and possibly an annotated report of the code by the original designer or programmer. Writing code is a creative and personal process. Interviewing the designers at the time of acquisition and asking for comments and notes on their work makes preservation and future emulation easier, and also helps with exhibition content and future research in this field.

SimCity 2000. 1994. Will Wright for Maxis, now part of Electronic Arts, Inc

SimCity 2000. 1994. Will Wright for Maxis, now part of Electronic Arts, Inc

Of course, what we acquire depends on each game, how it is best represented, and how it will be shown in the galleries. If the duration of the game is short enough, the game itself could be made playable in its entirety. For instance, visitors were able to play Passage in its entirety in MoMA’s Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects exhibition not only because it took a mere five minutes, but also because the narrative and message of the game required the player to engage with it for the full length.

For games that take longer to play, but still require interaction for full appreciation, an interactive demonstration, in which the game can be played for a limited amount of time, will be the answer. In concert with programmers and designers, we will devise a way to play a game for a limited time and enable visitors to experience the game firsthand, without frustrations.

With older games for which the original cartridges may be too fragile or hard to find, we will offer an interactive emulation—a programmer will translate the original code, which was designed for a specific platform, into new code that will create the same effect on a newer computer.

In other cases, when the game is too complex or too time consuming to be experienced as an interactive display in the galleries, we will create a video akin to a demo, in which the concept and characters of the game are laid out.

Finally, some of the games we have acquired (for instance Dwarf Fortress and EVE Online) take years and millions of people to manifest fully. To convey their experience, we will work with players and designers to create guided tours of these alternate worlds, so the visitor can begin to appreciate the extent and possibilities of the complex gameplay.

The team behind this acquisition stars MoMA Architecture and Design insiders Kate Carmody and Paul Galloway, but in preparing this research we have sought the advice of numerous people. We could not have done it without their contributions, and thank them wholeheartedly for their generosity, enthusiasm, and time. We will distinguish between RL (you know it, Real Life) and ML (MoMA Life). RL: Jamin Warren and Ryan Kuo of Kill Screen magazine; design philosopher and game author extraordinaire Kevin Slavin; and Chris Romero of the graduate program in museum studies at New York University. ML: Natalia Calvocoressi, Juliet Kinchin, Aidan O’Connor, and Mia Curran in Architecture and Design; in Graphics, Samuel Sherman; in Audio Visual, Aaron Louis, Mike Gibbons, Lucas Gonzalez, Aaron Harrow and Bjorn Quenemoen; in Information Technology, Matias Pacheco, Ryan Correira, and David Garfinkel; in Digital Media, Allegra Burnette, Shannon Darrough, David Hart, John Halderman, Spencer Kiser, and Dan Phiffer; in Conservation, Glenn Wharton and Peter Oleksik; in General Counsel, Henry Lanman; in Drawings, Christian Rattemeyer; at MoMA PS1, Peter Eleey; in Film, Rajendra Roy, Laurence Kardish, and Josh Siegel; in Media and Performance Art, Barbara London; and in Education, Calder Zwicky.  

We also extend our great thanks to the game companies and designers who donated these important works to MoMA. Without their brave, forward-thinking participation, this project would not have been possible. A great thank you to Tarn Adams, CCP, Éric Chahi, Cyan Worlds, Electronic Arts, NAMCO BANDAI, NanaOn-Sha, Jason Rohrer, Adam Saltsman, Sony Computer Entertainment, The Tetris Company, thatgamecompany, Valve, and Will Wright. 

Myst. 1993. Rand Miller and Robyn Miller of Cyan Worlds

Myst. 1993. Rand Miller and Robyn Miller of Cyan Worlds

Comments

I just ‘played’ that Passage ‘game’ and it was the most boring 5 minutes of mawkish sentimentality I’ve experienced in my entire life -and I’ve heard at least 2 Coldplay songs!

This is not a game.

Homeworld

Perhaps Wolfenstein 3D, or a variant of Doom or Quake should be on this list? id Software released some of the most influential and original games in the history of media. Half-Life was also incredibly influential and popular as well. And there were certainly strong elements of creativity (3d level design, texture design, monster creation and behavior) throughout the games in this genre.

Most definitely some early 3D First Person Shooter as the previous poster argued. Either Half-Life, Quake, Doom. Also, in the age of internet and on the subject of communication between people-object-people, some form of a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game is lacking; EverQuest, Ultima Online or World of Warcraft.

Shadow of the Colossus belongs. The game that screams “art” while playing like none other. Great idea, love the initiative.

Design, Technical Innovation, Music, Pop Art, Underground Culture, Visual Beauty and game mechanics… Jet Grind Radio… Come On! This selection has rights and very wrongs!

Dark Souls belongs. If only to demonstrate the difference between narrative in film/literature (presented) and game (discovered).

Immediately the problem will be “what games seem the most artistic” vs. “what games are the most important/influential”. The problem with “influential” is it includes games like Wolfenstein 3D, which at first glance would be hard to take seriously now, but the impact is huge (also from an economic approach, I believe it was the biggest shareware game ever).

For now, they should focus on where artistic and influential converge – so less Myst, more Tetris. Less Passage and more Portal.

OBSIDIAN!

It is almost a cult game dealing with interesting philosophical concepts – life in the machine, does the end justify the means?, and how a machine acquires a conscience.

I’m glad Zelda made it. But where is Okami?

Suck on that Roger Ebert!

@Nick : EVE Online is a MMO, and definitely more “Massively Multiplayer” than WoW or Everquest.

Nick, they do have a MMO up there. It’s EvE Online. Look into it, it’s a lot of fun as soon as you figure it out.

Art gallery tries to do a cool thing by display videogames as art. Bunch of games whine in the comments section about the selection.

Dwarf Fortress, f*** yeah!!

I could not imagine such a list without the inclusion of World of Warcraft.

I would second the call for Homeworld a beautific rts.
One of the other seminal RTS games such as Dune 2 or Command & Conquer and certainly a FPS such as Doom or Wolfenstein 3d should make it in if they can swing it.
I’m not a huge fan of MMORPGs but you can’t really ignore Everquest, Ultima Online or Warcraft as highly influential gaming experiences.

Okami must be there!
Its a real work of art!

I understand that this list is as much about design and artistic merit as about historical signifigance….but this already seems quite haphazard and arbitrary. I would love to know a little more about the curatorial process that assembled THIS list from the infinite possibilities. A few of these games had me downright scratching my head. Individually I can see why each game is worth a look (except for a few) but as a collection I think the current assemblage lacks a continuous thread.

Fallout, that game of post apocalytic survival should be in this gallery, it is one of the most influencial games out there.

+1 for adding Okami to the list. A blend of Japanese ukiyo-e (block print), sumi-e (ink brush) and kiri-e (cut paper) styles of art. Along with the sound design, the whole effect is hypnotic, and just beautiful!

Most of these comments are missing the point of this exhibition, I think. It’s not about which games are “influential” or exemplary of what video games are, or a collection of the different genres of game or whatever. It’s likely better to look at these as examples of games as a medium, as examples of the ways in which games are set apart from other media. Hence the focus on interaction design. A FPS or an RTS or an MMORPG are not exactly going to be interesting examples of the artistic potential of interaction, although they might be great examples of games.

Excellent initiative. Game design is art, gaming is an artform. I love it. Although it seems a bit self serving as I’ve played Eve-Online for nearly 7 years.

Three games should be added to your list, all downloadable games from this year.
1) Journey – by the same company that made Flow. You are a hooded figure on a journey to a distant mountain in the desert. Beautiful, devoid of any text, all the meaning comes from symbolism.
2) The Unfinished Swan – A game that is remarkable in it’s design, as well as an unexpected story that unfolds. You are a child who goes into one of his deceased mother’s paintings. The world starts as a blank white until you throwpaint balls to find walls and the way to some resolve.
3) Walking Dead – The most traditional game of the three, and the only cross-platform (The other two being PS3 explosive), You find yourself in a zombie apocalypse, caring for an 8 year old girl, and making constant life and death decisions in a world where the monsters aren’t always zombies.

As an EVE Online player, the unique nature of CCPs Single-Shard UNIVERSE is extremely noteworthy. With the upcoming addition to that standing universe, DUST 514 will be adding an entirely new level of game-play(potentially) by having not only angry nerds in space blasting people into oblivion, but infantry on the ground shooting each other in the face until it stops being funny. All while being online with each other, Capsuleers in EVE being able to contact Mercenaries in DUST in real time(Orbital strike anyone?) bridging two very different genres into the same persistent universe. The merits of the CCP and its Sandbox-Experience that is EVE Online are well justified in being included in my opinion.

Well, now I can say that I have a better video game collection than MOMA. Great!

Alex, you’re missing the point. They’re talking about games as DESIGN PIECES, not as art. Canabalt isn’t exactly an “interesting [example] of the artistic potential of interaction.” Doom or Quake should definitely be on the list, purely on how well it fits the criteria for Behavior, Aesthetics (arguable), and Space.

Really, it’s rather odd how there are no PC games on the list.

Tetris? 1984? Will it be running on a russian Electronika computer?

I know Super Mario Bros. & Super Mario 64 are the obvious choices to include. But please consider Super Mario Bros. 3, as well. Defninitely one of the best side-scrolling action games of all time, design-wise.

Animal Crossing? Good choice. I’d also go with Wind Waker for the Nintendo Gamecube.

May I suggest the Laser Disc games Space Ace and Dragon\\\’s Lair? I believe those games were an important breakthrough in terms of concept, art, animation, technology, aesthetics and influence for many current games we have today.

@John B, they did include at least two PC games, EVE Online, by CCP, and Dwarf Fortress, by Bay 12. (I also believe that SimCity might have been a PC game, but do not recall with clarity)

You can google for either game/producer and find their websites. I have spent 6 years on EVE Online, and killed many hours on Dwarf Fortress. They are opposite ends of the spectrum as far as play style, graphics, and design, but are both extremely enjoyable games with a challenge, and minimal to non-existent scripted plot lines, leaving much to the player to sculpt and enjoy.

No Sonic, No Silent Hill (PS1)?

this is a great list. I’m happy to see Vib Ribbon on there (WHY was it never sold in the US!?!?!) and Katamari Damacy, the most addictive game I’ve played since Tetris. I think they should consider Pitfall, Defender, possibly Wizard Of Wor (1st game with a voice chip), Cosmic Space would be appropriate just for the cabinet alone, Ms. Pacman was equally important as Pacman, Dragon’s Lair and Space Invaders…

Eve Online is indeed a significant work of art – but who’s the artist?

Some great suggestions in this thread.

May I suggest the 2001 shooter, REZ? Beautiful aesthetics and a perfect marriage of music to a shooter (something that sounds bizarre, but the game makes seem natural). Beautifully designed.

@Matti, “who’s the artist?”

Are you asking about the graphic designers? Or the complexity that is the living, breathing, space-drama that is the driven by player interaction?

As far as I am aware, that image displayed here(9/15) is a screenshot of one of the new destroyer class ships and a few existing frigates and destroyers.

CCP is fairly good about using ONLY the in-game graphics for most of their trailers. Look up the video “EVE Online: Inferno Trailer” (or CCP Games channel) on YouTube sometime for the most recent trailer currently, and watch the shiny new missile effects, which are actually how they look in game. The scripted ship maneuvers and camera angles are the only things that are difficult to get while actually playing. But the graphics are very impressive if you take the time to look closely at all the fine detail.

No pinball games? Big mistake.

“Or will it entail several painstaking years of bliss, as in Dwarf Fortress?”

Bliss?

Playing Dwarf Fortress; you’re doing it wrong.

No Bioshock, Braid, Civilization?

At least they’ve discovered Dwarf Fortress.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim certainly deserves a place on the list, its a master in gameplay mechanics [graphics are great too] such as being able to ignore the main quest entirely means that it can literally go on forever plus the hundreds of mods in the PC version, means that is always subject to change. Plus the view of a mountainous backdrop, in its splendor never gets old.

Best game for the past year imo and many agree.

Descent needs to be on this list.

Not being a dedicated gamer there are many games that I’ve enjoyed sufficiently as a spectator, either as self-operating demos or as played by someone highly skilled, for the visual/ narrative quality and ingenuity of animation. They were primarily on the Amiga, such as Cinemaware titles like It came from the Desert and the Three Stooges. Mindwalker, also Amiga, was one that I also enjoyed playing, and may have been one of the most original games that have been designed.

I am glad that your collection guidelines address the preservation issues concerned with the games, especially original v. emulation. I hope that more publishers will work with you to expand the collection.

I sincerely believe that Bioshock should be on this list. Not only was it a huge success, it was a beautiful and deeply philosophical work of art.

@John B: “Really, it’s rather odd how there are no PC games on the list.”

Um, there are no fewer than *six* PC games: Myst, SimCity, The Sims, EVE, Dwarf Fortress, and Portal.

Every modern day creature comfort has an analog electro-mechanical ancestor, and in terms of the video game, pinball is that, the grandfather clock of the arcade, the first machine that ever kept score for you! A pretty major milestone in gaming, definitely a sea change from which a tide of evolution in art, science, and supporting technologies have subsequently flourished.

Automated scorekeeping all started off with silk screened glass lightboxes that were backlit in accordance with points awarded in game. Then the advent of the score reel… then the digital numeric display, which begets the alphanumeric display… all which predate even the now antiquated dot matrix.

Before pixels were being pumped in and fired through our eyeballs directly on into our brains by tvs and pc monitors, swinging flippers at a silver ball trapped in world a behind a sheet of glass was as good as gaming got. And that pinball world was conceived with just as beautifully brilliant a set of notions as the modern video gaming era has been.

I totally dig what MoMA is doing, fully respect it even, but definitely think there needs to be a nod given to the era of analog gaming that came before the video games presented here by just one generation.

The art of game design is a fantastic study, and thank you for taking the time to showcase the work you have. Really excited to see the MoMA collection grow not only in number of titles presented, but in breadth of study as well.

Bring back the arcade!

Peace.

First of all, thanks to MoMA for making this happen. It would be impossible to please everyone with the choices. This is an enterprise thick with nostalgia and subjectivity. That said, I agree with some of the comments in this thread that some omissions seem odd: nothing from the Civ series? No WoW? Among old arcade games, Dragon’s Lair and Defender beg for representation. But hey, the fact that we are arguing about this here is a sign of the success of MoMA in this venture.

where are the apple IIe games? lode runner, montezuma’s revenge, balderdash, wavy navy, moon patrol, to name a few. then old dos games like captain comic… maybe I’m biased because i played all of these. just as long as king’s quest never makes it to the list :/ oh and for atari, I would’ve chosen missile command or pitfall over yar’s revenge. maybe I should read the requirements of how something gets submitted again.

and “Prince of Persia” (1987)?

I have seen a number of calls for the inclusion of Warcraft(I am assuming WoW, and not the original RTS version), and to me, it does not stand out in any grand fashion as far as far as any of the criteria go. Behavior, Aesthetics, Space, or Time, the only criteria I might note is that the cinematics are pretty, but the rest of the game play it seems fairly mid ranged. If anything I would rather see Everquest or some of the other MMO predecessors to WoW up there, that pioneered the MMO genre, for their player interactions.

The next thought that comes to my mind is what sort of hoops is the MoMA going through for acquiring rights to these titles? Not to bash Blizzard, but I would not imagine the rights to their game comes easy.

And the next thought being, perhaps they are still in progress, this is just the initial 14 games in the collection “for Starters”. It might be on the list at some point down the road.

Starcraft, Crawl Stone Soup, Doom and/or Quake , and TIE Fighter should be added for sure, particularly the last.

For the love of god, people, can we stop the endless whining about “my favorite game didn’t make the list” already and recognize how awesome this collection’s very existence is?

@Silverionmox Why Bioshock? System Shock is not only a much better game but much more important to gaming.

I’m surprised there isn’t anything from Ultima at all especially Ultima IV. There should also be Baldur’s Gate, Wasteland, Fallout, Civilization, Darklands and Masters of Orion. There are many more but these are some from the top of my head that almost feel sacreligous to not be in the exibit.

I am writing in regard to your recent acquistion of Eve Online:

moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?object_id=162462

I believe MoMA should include these other “products” which the company CCP, which makes Eve Online, has produced:

youtube.com/watch?v=7FPA2Bh6g0g&list=PL5752437CA9E0008D&index=3&feature=plpp_video

youtube.com/watch?v=aZCn6x1-j_8&list=PL5752437CA9E0008D&index=2&feature=plpp_video

youtube.com/watch?v=XPRSUVaKIwY&list=PL5752437CA9E0008D&index=1&feature=plpp_video

These CCP developed videos include such topics as hunting fellow workers with rifles, (protected) prison rape, kidnapping and shooting police in high-speed car chases.

Then, I guess MoMA missed the last Fanfest event by CCP where they broadcast over the Internet a live event where developers and players answered questions in a drinking game.

Or, again broadcast live, the controversial event where the Mittani, a famous player in Eve who has been head of the player elected counsel “CSM” for several years, gave the user account of a clinically depressed player which the Mittani’s corp, the largest in Eve, had been “griefing” and suggested that everyone else do the same in order that this person commit suicide. Details here:

mmomeltingpot.com/2012/03/the-mittani-calls-for-another-player-to-be-harassed-into-suicide-blogger-reactions/

End result: CCP slaps the Mittani on the wrists.

I do hope these details will be provided in the informational description when the artwork goes on exhibition.

I would like to thank MoMA on their fine acquistion choice.

+1 for including EVE online, and suggesting Street Fighter II. These are both games which have gone far beyond the rest of their counterparts in both persisting and remaining relevant in a medium of rapidly-evolving products that are mainly produced as consumable products.
The “Art” in both of these games, are the players who compete with each other, innovate their own play styles in a rich, well designed virtual environment, and react, respond and collaborate with the game designers to iterate the game years beyond their expected shelf-lives.

Video games aren’t art. Stop doing this. Video games involve art, but they are NOT art. They are in the same vein of graphic design… which is NOT art. Get your shit together, you guys are supposed to know about this stuff. This is embarassing.

Praise Armok

8bitViking, your sage words of wisdom will cascade throughout the ages….

Hi Paola,
Take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQeHQ30eG30
The artist who did this work also lives in New York.
His website is http://cibernetic.com
Best,
Christiane

By including Dwarf Fortress on this list, MoMA will officially change its name to MaGMA.

Glorious, glorious choice by MoMA. Truly a game that deserves recognition in the highest form.

Congrats on a good start with this collection. Breaking new ground, you follow in your own grand tradition.

It is art as well as design.

A long time EVE Online player.

I think you should probably add an elder scrolls game (the easiest would probably be “daggerfall”) to represent western RPGs alongside your JRPG (for those unaware, Chrono Trigger). I say Elder Scrolls because I myself am partial to them, and TES series is massively influential to the western rpg genre. Also, I have a feeling that Bethesda would like the idea.

I am going to reiterate what only a few people have said: This exhibit isn’t saying that these games are art. They are saying they have art in them, but not that as a whole it is art. That is why they classify the exhibit under “Architecture and Design.”

I’ve played just about all of these and I’ve been playing EVE since 2007 and one game I’d very much love to added to the collection is the point-and-click puzzle adventure game, Machinarium. The artwork, game-play, plot and music are outstanding!

@8bitViking

Who are you to determine what art is. There are far less artistic statues scattered around most metropolitan areas that make you scratch your head and wonder “why is this here”. The ‘art’ of video games is not purely the graphics, but the entire feeling and experience it provokes.

Your comment however, is over the top pessimistic. And you don’t sound like you’re a whole lot of fun to be around.

+1 for EVE

A brilliant list and some fantastic suggestions among the comments, however I couldn’t find a single suggestion for Deus Ex – A game I know you consider one of the greatest games ever made ^_~

Okay, first, have you been to MoMa? It is at least as much about design as ‘Art’ (so called) and in fact – did you read the article? – the intent to show these works from a design perspective has informed the curatorial decisions they’ve made.

Second, I’d be fascinated to hear your decision of what, exactly, is and isn’t art. Given that MoMa has (or certainly had) a brush head nailed up on a wall as ‘Art’ and given that I am prepared to accept that (as though my say mattered at all…) I am certainly accepting video games – some, curated and appraised – as Art. They are works of expression, through a medium, created by people with intent. They have, In there entirety, the capacity to be Art; not all are, just as not all paintings are, but some certainly can be. I would argue, as an example, that Fallout by virtue of its narrative, interactive nature, compellingly realized setting and exceptional ending(s) is a work of Art. I know that I certainly felt something strong, and almost profound, upon its completion. More than I feel when I’m in the presence of a Pollock, say.

System Shock 2
Megaman
+for Dune 2, Shadow of the Colossus, Dark Souls

What, no Lemmings?

ADD THE NEVERHOOD!! ;_;

seems slightly Nintendo biased with a few Marios and no Sonics

1) as mentioned various posts before: the list lacks an 3d FPS shooter, some early one as quake or doom, because it greatly influenced the impression of space in simulated environment.
2) it lacks some decent Simulation Game (Some sort of racing/flight sim/real pilot training simulation) as it enables the player to experience something they haven’t done IRL
3) probably minecraft as it distorts the IG goals of what is seen as a WIN/Loose and overall Sandbox

I think videogames definitely count as art, “sculpted” from light and mathematics.

Some of the “my favourite game” posts on here are nuts. WoW – an interaction design classic? What? You might as well credit the inventor of the mouse or keyboard.

Now … why isn’t Defender in this “to be” list? Unique and perfectly designed control system.

@8bitViking – So how would you define art? A hundred years ago the same was said of photography, but no one was able to define art in such a way as to include what was (at the time) traditionally considered art and exclude photographs. How are you going to define art to include what you want but exclude video games (or for that matter graphic design). What do you really gain from defining art in such a way as to exclude mediums?

I can understand wanting to exclude those things that lack expressive value independent of the medium that they are in. Yet it seems to me that one could be an artist in the medium of accountancy by using the tools provided in that medium to express themselves meaningfully.

A huge part of the value of this collection is to push the bounds of what art is traditionally considered to be. There is no question that video games are art – anything that people can do could be art.

I hope Dr. Antonelli catches this–I am an arcade game collector, and in fact have a couple noted in the press release (Spacewar! [Space Wars,] and Pong [cockail Fascination 4-plr.] The problem for you will be the limited life of CRT displays, especially when exhibited daily. They function like incandescent lightbulbs and will probably serve no more than 5 or 10 years in those circumstances. Emulation on modern hardware is one solution; or simply stockpiling spare CRTs while they are still available (I replaced the Cinematronics Space Wars CRT last year, for instance.) Congrats on your body of work, and this challenging exhibit. –Chas, exhibits designer, USAF Museum.

Relax everyone. they will put up more games over time. These guy know what they are doing. Stop complaning that your “fave game” isint on here it makes you sound childish and undeserving. Some game i admit should be on here but give theses guys a break.

I sincerely hope you will consider Reunion (DOS) for this list, a severely underrated space-simulation/RTS game from Hungary. That was THE game that peaked my interest in astronomy, popular science and futurist thought.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reunion_(video_game)

PS: It was highly appropriate the the spam check word i had to put in was: ding, as in “DING! Level up!”

“Joust” was the one true work of art among the early video games.

Halo? Elder Scrolls? Fallout?

Dear Ms. Antonelli: I’m expanding my “History of NYC in 50 Objects” that I wrote for the NY Times. Any suggestions from you or your readers of transformative or emblematic objects would be welcome at samrob@nytimes.com

The list so far seems good to me. I completely forgot about Another World, I enjoyed that game a lot when I was young.

I’m surprised that games that were developed as “Art Games” were left out but I suppose they’re working to it.

The Path, The Graveyard, Cat and the Coup, Yume Nikki, and Fatale come to mind.

Nice choices…Long time EVE player, great game. For those that don’t know what it is check it out, top tier MMO.

But really….FINAL FANTASY!!!!

Remember some of your favorite games are owned by companies that are difficult and possibly greedy. GIve the MOMA time to break it down to them. I have not seen a single mention of Unreal whose AI engine is still running FPS today.

Tempest.

I’m not a game player and I really stink at them. Tempest was the only one I enjoyed and got better at playing.

The lack of Okami, Ico, and Shadow of the Colossus on that list makes me sad. Those game are some of the few games in my opinion that truly deserves to be considered art. Shadow of the Colossus especially for it’s vast open world and details. Weird to see Katamari Damacy on their, but at the same time I can sorta understand it being there.

As far as Elder Scrolls goes, I would recommend Morrowind, more specifically its Construction Set and some of the larger mods that have come out of it, Tamriel Rebuilt in particular. This seems like the one that would most clearly showcase design.

For your consideration: A Slow Year by Ian Bogost.

I would suggest that you add “Oregon Trail” to the collection, preferably on a teletype like students used in school in the 70′s.

http://vvoice.vo.llnwd.net/e10/5873189.0.jpg
http://www.citypages.com/2011-01-19/news/oregon-trail-how-three-minnesotans-forged-its-path/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Oregon_Trail_(video_game)

omg i cant believe that 2 most played games in all time with best scene and tournaments are not included…. They are part of my life and many others….

<3 cs1.6 & DotA

Its old, but it was famous at around 1987:

Leisure Suit Larry

And of cause Doom / Wolfenstein 3D should be named for being the first first person shooter.
One might not like such games, but they founded a whole new industry.

i think video games is art because all the different colors and the art designs and how the people made and thats most definaly art .

Great selection. I know almost all of these, and am not at all surprised that they made the list. I suppose I’ll have to revisit the MoMA very soon!

At Fanfest last year, Jon Lander (senior producer of Eve Online) blew my mind by explaining that they don’t think of Eve as a game, but a tool for players to wield against each other. It is thinking like that which deserves to be in the MoMA.

For anyone who wants to try it, by the way… this link will get you a 21 day trial.

https://secure.eveonline.com/trial/?invc=4664a4a0-a9fc-429a-8c7d-7443cf0fd3a6&action=buddy

I ‘m really surprised Ultima Online did not make the list. Its going into the Guinness Book of World Records and was the premise for almost every MMORPG game out there.

No collection of “games as art” will ever be complete unless it includes “Silent Hill 2″.

Bioshock definitely deserves to be part of the exhibit.

Why not Heavy Rain? I mean, its a wonderful example of how games can exist where story is the only driving factor as compared to the gameplay itself.

I’m surprised you guys don’t have “Flower” (ps3). it is this lovely indie game in which you play as the wind, blooming flowers and greening grass and nature-ing up the place (there are old “junk” metal pieces all over, zomg evil industrial whatnot). Aside from its clear “green” message, it is fun to swoop around as the wind and the world you explore is really attractive. Game also has a unique control system where you hold any button to move and then just wave the PS3 controller around, since it senses 6 axes (I think) of motion, it knows which way you’re tilting it and that’s the way you go on screen. Absolutely recommended for a museum’s game collection; other than Katamari Damacy it’s hard for me to think of a game with real gameplay that is both this addictive AND this easy for non-gamers to pick up and play, not to mention that it is both beautiful and unusual.

Also, in the “plot” section (if you have one), the visually aging but still awesome psychological horror game Silent Hill 2. Other artsy games I’m pretty sure anyone could see the merit in: Okami (PS2, unique graphics, so much Japanese mythology you might be crushed, AND it is fun); Shadow of the Colossus (PS2, really unusual gameplay and very beautiful also). I could go on but I won’t. Ha. XD

Your experts forgot to tell you about Journey (2012 PS3).

Shadow of the Colossus is the most arty game ever made, IMO. Beautiful, lonely, strange: and that’s before you even meet the extraordinary colossi. MoMAbots, please add this to your list.

Defender

That game is missing on your list.

“Since its release, it has become one of the highest grossing
arcade games ever, earning over US$1 billion.”

Happy to see MYST and PORTAL on this list. To me, they define video games.

k bye

I feel like Cave Story should at least be considered. All made by one man, and probably one of the biggest indie games ever. If you haven’t tried it, you can find it free, as it always has been, on the web.

Lemmings and California games…

While I love the recognition that video games are getting in this and many of the titles, I am a bit surprised that Shadow of the Colossus is not on here. Other titles I would like to see on here are Okami as others have said and 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors for the DS.

I think the following should be included:

Half-Life 2
Super Mario World
Icewind Dale
Planescape: Torment
Galaga
Space Invaders
Sonic the Hedgehog CD
Fallout 1
The Oregon Trail
Final Fantasy VI
Asteroids
Team Fortress 2
Gradius V
Mega Man 2

Ms.Antonelli’s comments on the failure to include games like “Grand Theft Auto” (WNYC) are shocking for a senior curator. To paraphrase, she says MOMA is looking for games that are “life affirming….not violent”. Ms. Antonelli, Guernica is a little violent.As is much of the museums’s collection. Shameful censorship

I designed Pong and have some of the original documentation. Are you looking for that?

How does ‘The Last Ninja’ not make this list?

You guys forgot text graphics games like ZZT, Kindom of Kroz (1984). ZZT was made by Tim Sweeney… the founder of Epic Megagames responsible for all the Unreal games and engines!

Yay! Dwarf Fortress is fantastically deep, complicated, and awesome.

Please consider Shadow of the Colussus. It is to video games what art house theater is to blockbuster films.

What about Phantasmagoria?

SO glad to see games are making headway as being considered “art”! Exciting. I’m also glad to see Myst made the cut.

+ for Okami. I also vote Shadow of the Colossus or Ico. Also Sword and Sworcery is a beautiful combination of design, animation and takes full advantage of the iOS system.

Knight Lore for the ZX Spectrum

I am missing some genres. I am not sure if these are the best best games representing these genres, but I am talking about
- text adventures (Infocom and predecessors)
- graphic adventures like the ones from Lucas Arts
- real time strategy (Star Craft, etc.)
- Lemmings
- Populous

I suggest to include a non-commercial mod for Civilization IV: Pie’s Ancient Europe.

http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=352646

Obviously this is just an initial selection. It’s like opening the first art gallery ever and having to choose only 16 paintings from all around the world. Give Antonelli and her collaborators some time. Wolfstein 3D though should be there. It’s format is what has dominated the landscape of video games for decades. For the future, you should also think include textualadventures, like the early ones by Sierra.

I’m very sure that whoever wrote this didn’t know a thing about Dwarf Fortress. lol “Several painstaking years of bliss”? “Years and millions of people to manifest fully”? Someone didn’t do the research.

To MoMA, should you decide to correct your article: A game of Dwarf Fortress CAN take several years to complete, but they don’t regularly last longer than a month or so, if you’re lucky. The game’s unofficial motto is “Losing is Fun”, as you lose frequently, and in spectacular ways. Many games don’t last longer than a week. Also, it’s single-player (unless you share the save with the community).

Still, I’m very glad you included it. I hope to visit MoMA in the near future, after you get this exhibit up.

I would add “Utopia” and “Microsurgeon”, both for Mattel Intellivision.

from an emergent gameplay point of view Starseige: Tribes would be an excellent choice. The core gameplay mechanics were turned on their head by player exploitation of a physics glitch, transforming a slow basebuilding capture-the-flag game into the world’s fastest shooter with players skiing across the maps at upwards of 300 mph.

People have already say it but Shadow of the Colossus and Ico must be on the list. They´re pure art.

No XCOM (1993)? Lol what? Best TBS ever, 1 of the best games…

\”Over the next few years, we would like to complete this initial selection…\”

What\’s hard about collecting video games? Just get them, right? Minecraft costs like $10.

Williams Defender – with its carefully designed button layout and revolutionary approach and sound – should make the grade IMHO.

I’m surprised that Shadow of the Colossus or thatgamecompany’s Journey aren’t on the list. Both are incredibly elegant and influential, while also having artistic and open-ended narratives.

Final Fantasy VI VII VIII IX? Pick one.

Final Fantasy VI-IX (pick one), The Secret of Monkey Island, Sonic the Hedgehog,

I’m so glad that Grim Fandango, Minecraft, and Zelda made the list. It’s really funny to see people wanting to add games like Halo and Skyrim. I don’t play games that much, and my suggestions for addition are probably already here.

Zak McKrackenn (LucasArts, fomerly Lucasfilm Games) is pure art:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zak_McKracken_and_the_Alien_Mindbenders

And btw: what about the Sierra’s Quest-Series? King’s Quest, Space Quest, etc.

The synesthetic music game REZ should be quickly acquired [designer: Tetsuya Miziguchi], especially in light of it being a very rich response to the work of Kandinsky.

And the rich planarity of the game’s spaces take significant and cues from the Modern paintings already held by MoMA.

The Art of Video Games exhibit at the Smithsonian Art Museum was one of the most thoughtful exhibits I’ve ever seen. The best decision the curator made was actually setting up booths where people could play the games on a large projection screen. The controllers were mounted in such a way that the player had to just stand there and barely move, allowing the other visitors to gather around and explore how interaction with the video game creates art in itself. The players were also included in live video footage projected at the start of the exhibit: close-ups of their faces as they played. It turned video games into performance art and was a really smart way to lead into a room filled with video installations, historical time lines, and brightly displayed consoles showing the evolution of games.

The idea that design isn’t art is absurd at face value. Every artist has to concern herself with design when composing the images they create. The placement of elements even in an abstract painting isn’t arbitrary the same way the creation of a video game is an expansive exercise in the design of a new universe.

I applaud MoMA for adding video games to its permanent design collection. I cannot wait to visit again in the spring and explore the new additions to the permanent collection. Katamari Damacy is an inspired choice.

I’m so glad they added dwarf fortress and nethack, those game will never get as much praise as they deserve. Also chosing chrono trigger from all the j-rpg is a proof of very good taste.

I think this list is pretty well thought of. Great selection for the first 14!

Some of those games are extraordinary experiences.

You should take a look into the folowing games:

- “Rez” for the Dreamscast
- “Shadow of Memories/Destiny” for PS2 and PC
- “ICO” for the PS2
- “Shadow of the Colossus” for the PS2

Please include the DRAGON AGE series from Bioware. Not only is it a fantastic video game, it shows how the video game medium can be used to tell a gripping, dramatic, and majestic tale of tragedy and bittersweet victory set within sweeping vistas and dank caverns that vividly mimic the greatest of arthouse films and classical paintings by the great maestros of old.

Just as importantly, Dragon Age was the first modern video game to cater to the LGBT crowd, and included homosexuality not only as a deep romance option but also as a recurring theme that brought the motifs of the juxtaposition of our intolerant society to light.

Bravo to Bioware, and bravo to David Gayder, truly a great and underappreciated artist of our times.

No zynga games?
No phone apps?

The nerve of them! Some of the greatest (worst) games of our time and it’s not on the list!! UNBELIEVEABLE!! How could you!

Okami! It is so beautiful to look at and listen to. I love the world that was created by Clover. For me, it is a completely immersive gameplay experience.

A great move. I’m very glad to see the potential of games as art recognized, and especially pleased to see Dwarf Fortress on this list along with some old classics.

My own suggestion for the “wishlist” would include:
* The Secret of Monkey Island (as a representative of the graphical adventure genre and a masterpiece in terms of graphics, music and humor)
* Ultima IV-VI (a classic, well-loved series of RPGs that is about more than just slaughtering countless enemies — these games were among the first to touch issues of ethics and also had recurring party members with great personality)
* Baldur’s Gate II (the first game pretty much revived the RPG genre, and this sequel adds more depth in terms of gameplay, story and characterization as well as an even bigger gameworld)
* Master of Magic (a turn-based strategy representative which despite being considered a classic never found a “worthy” successor that managed or even tried to incorporate all the features which made MoM so much fun)
* System Shock II (awesome and highly-regarded mix of RPG, action and horror elements)

Elite, \’84, just from design…plus meets a lot of those criteria

Great selection. I would also suggest something from the latest games in the Fallout series: Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.

Should include Streetfighter and War/Starcraft, these games molded generations.

how sexist
ms pacman was a better game, visually more interesting

disgusted by MOMA

Mario and Super Mario – fond memories … just as much of the sound as the game.

Kings Quest for the IBM PCjr (Sierra OnLine)– amazing art and graphics for the time (1983), and the first (that I know of) adventure game to have animated characters instead of static pictures. It paved the way for so many of the games you play today.
The list so far is great, and I’m sounds like it will evolve over time but this game seems like should have a place in the collection because the actual art in it was fantastic:
http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/reviews/120/

I must’ve missed the part where they said they were taking suggestions.

Keep doing your thing, MoMA. Glad to see people appreciating the work that goes into making a game.

Well. First I must say that I am delighted that respectable museums are taking a larger interest in video games. Then – Half-Life 2. Must be included.

Nice selection. Surprised at some of the lacking games though. For example, “Amnesia: The Dark Descent” is unique in the complete inability to fight, or even look at, the enemies.
BioShock would be another obvious choice, certainly from an interaction point of view, given that the storyline forces the player to reconsider the notion of free will. Still, nice idea.

Mirror’s Edge should be considered.

Hey, why you forget Monkey Island or Loom? they represents the old graphic adventure type

Some worthy titles there and some dubious ones. Notable exceptions are:

Lemmings!
Doom (as some have mentioned)
Warcraft (the original, NOT WoW)

I’m trying to rack my brain for others now…

I’m so glad this is happening! But it would be great if Spore could get on the list. Or at least, the creature creator.

Half-LIfe. The First FPS to tell a solid story and to keep you immersed in it from beginning to end.

I think Minecraft should definately be on the list.

i would suggest:
rpg games like ultima, wizardry (and many other i spent hours)

adventure like the ‘quests’ king-, space-, larry-

varia ‘battle chess’, lemmings, ssi strategy games

Shadow of the Colossus. Okami.

That is all.

Without question: “Alone in the Dark” (the original), parts 1, 2 and 3:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alone_in_the_Dark_%28video_game%29

Defender has to be added.

*
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* * /\ * / \
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I’m surprised at the people complaining that there aren’t any adventure games in the list considering Grim Fandango is in the “would like to get” portion. The games in the list is pretty fantastic. My only suggestions would be the following though:
Facade
Planescape: Torment
Prince of Persia (1980s version)
Oregon Trail
Braid

and possibly:
Black and White
Populous
Scribblenauts

and even some more indie games (love the fact that Passage is on the list):
The Company of Myself
Loved
Fantastic Contraption

Pax Imperia I and Pax Imperia 2.

Even tough a lot of the games listed above and in the comments are extraordinary choices, I believe that it would be wise to include games that would be classified more as a work of art than as a game , but are games nonetheless.

This would include Yume Nikki, LSD Dream Emulator, LIMBO, Journey, and 99 Rooms.

Don’t forget pinball!!

Some of the most beautiful pieces of modern art are pins from pre-war (flipper less) all the way to the 80′s and early 1990′s.. Backglasses and playfields are a totally lost art form..

Off the bat, Dwarf Fortress is a great pick. This is a game that you would never see made by someone in it for the money. A detailed fantasy world that is ultimately shaped by your actions, and very challenging.

Nethack also shows tremendous taste.

My suggestions:

Elite
DikuMUD
Abuse
Trade Wars (bbs game)
Legend of the Red Dragon (bbs game)
Falcon (flight simulator)
Double dragon (arcade)
1942 (arcade)
Smash TV (arcade)
Star Control 1/2
Master of Magic

manic mansion
wing commander
monkey island
starcraft
half-life
doom
mortal kombat

That is a picture of realMyst, not Myst or Myst ME.

The 2 in the gallery are from Myst or Myst ME, which are more or less identical at a glance (but I would guess Myst ME in this case).

Addendum to previous comment.

So the caption should say.
“realMyst. 2000. Rand Miller of Cyan Worlds.”
Since the other brother had nothing to do with realMyst directly. He did not even see it until it was released, and hated it when he did see it.
Also Myst was designed by “Cyan”, they did not change their name to “Cyan Worlds” until after Riven, to show their change in direction to multiplayer/mmo games.

Deus Ex is still one of the best story-driven First-Person games ever. It was one of the first that evolved from your actions in the game as to how certain parts opened up or how the actual dialogue of the game changed to give you a different piece of plot when played. Even down to where you thought you would break the game by planting explosives to take out one of your teammate cyborgs on a mission and then you find out that they programmed that exact scenario in and the dialogue was vastly different from then on. There were also many ways to do any mission. Like said cyborg, you could research and hack emails to get a kill code to shut her down, you could blow her up in the mission mentioned above, or end up just taking her out in a firefight later in the game. Depending on what you did in the game made the paths change or open up new options.

It really was ahead of its time and there has not been a game that really compares to it since.

Just a quick response to Jonathon Wisnoski:

You made me doubt myself, so I double checked with Robyn Miller and Cyan. The images we have posted for Myst are indeed from the original game. Thanks for keeping us on our toes!

Paul Galloway, MoMA Architecture & Design

Where is Bioshock? As far as games as an art form the dystopian world of Bioshock fits perfectly. Ever inch of the game made my jaw drop, from the water leaking in at every turn to the beautiful light and atmosphere. Even the music from another time painted a beautiful and horrific canvas that I got to walk through.

All I can really say is that I’m very glad they chose to include Chrono Trigger,

It’s so nice to see a serious institution of fine art showing the rest of the world (that may not be as into gaming as some of us) that the skill and effort put into many games can be just as beautiful/horrific, thought provoking and moving as any other form of art can be.

Don’t forget to add Psychonauts, Bioshock and Fable to the list!

think a lot of these people upset about not having Bioshock and TF2 (seriously?) and Sonic (what?) are mistaking the intent of the exhibit. it’s not “the most funnerest games” here, but games that make you think about other things than playing them, or that challenge our assumptions about what an interactive entertainment experience is. look at how many of those titles have no win conditions. this kind of presentation is about -games,- not about gam-ing.- it’s about interacting with somebody else’s head (or your own in a new way) through software, not about which products deliver the best adrenaline rushes.

tron.

no homeworld!? jeez…

I am glad Chrono Trigger made the list. At the same time, the collection cannot be complete without Final Fantasy VI and VII. These are the most awesomely beautiful games ever made, especially the Opera scene in FFVI.

I played a lot of games, half-life,street fighter, WoW, modern warefare,planetside,world of tanks and star wars online. Nothing compares to the interaction with others than eveonline, where you have to get hundreds or thousands of people from all over the world on the same page for one common goal, this something no other game has come close to.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDVEHE10nHc&list=PLF614A7A6461E61E1&index=16

“I ‘m really surprised Ultima Online did not make the list. Its going into the Guinness Book of World Records and was the premise for almost every MMORPG game out there.”

Young people… lol. The MMORPG hasn’t changed at all since DIKU and MUDs (You know those things that Ultima Online ripped off without so much as a nod). Even before UO there was Meridian and before that you had VGA Planets, Ursurper, Legend of the Red Dragon, and the THOUSANDS of MOOs, MUCKs, MUSHes, Rom, Envy, etc. UO actually didn’t innovate a single feature outside of slapping it’s 3/4 perspective and adding mouse controls.

In contrast at least Everquest was actually a 3D MMO by innovation.

Checklist of MUD features predating UO:
PvP
Player House
Experience and Leveling
Classless progression
Graphics
Sound
Reincarnation (Still missing in modern MMOs)
Online world creation (Still missing in modern MMOs)
Guilds and Alliances
Instancing
Phasing (as defined by Blizzard)
Raiding
Dual Classing (Missing in MOST MMOs still)
Server versus Server wars (only took blizzard 7 years to finally start grouping shards together for BG battles)
Automaps and compasses
Offline interaction through web pages and BBS doors (and back in the day pagers and voice calls)

I swear nothing pisses me off more then some 10 year old kid claiming Everquest or UO were some how special or innovative. Creative yes, but to be blunt Everquest’s only innovation in game play was adding 3D. Everything else they implemented had been around in MUDs for DECADES.

A good selection (am glad to see Chrono Trigger and Zelda on the wishlist), but I agree with those who’ve said the list is incomplete without Final Fantasy VI. FFVII would be a fine addition, too, but it was more the popularizer of the genre than an exemplar or crowning gem.

For the love of god… Limbo.

I’d be happy to help prepare material for an exhibit based on Core War: whether videos, images, commentary or examples of elegant code. Feel free to drop me an email – digital DOT wilderness AT googlemail DOT com

This comment is going to be bogged down with the rest but I’d like to join the many others who are pointing out that those people saying WoW or Doom or Wolf3D should be on the list are completely missing the point.

MoMA was looking for games that highlight interactive design, and human behavior as a result of, or acting through that design. WoW does not have any attractive design, whereas EVE certainly does.

EVE is a truly massive in scale – not just by player numbers. It is a single shard galaxy with hundreds and hundreds of solar systems, each with their own celestial bodies. It has a fully functional economy that is used as a virtual economic teaching aid at some universities, and finally – the game is more player driven that any other MMO in existence. WoW doesn’t have a leg to stand on in front of EVE in terms of interactive design.

For Doom and other classics that defined gaming – they don’t necessarily have good interactive design, even if they pioneered gaming – that’s not the focus of the exhibit. Portal (to use a FPS as an example) took the gaming and turned it on its head (sometimes literally). Completely unique at the time, and forced players to find the one way to solve the problem under the guise that they had a choice in the solution

Warcraft the original and / or Command & Conquer should be on the list, that was very influential.

Almost definitely Homeworld as it was the first of its kind and it was very pretty

Black and White for the concept of allowing you to be a god

And… EVE for the way it presents the sandbox for players..

Okay, i get that video games are an example of interaction design. However, two points, first about the merits of such a thing: With such a limited space for pure cultural pursuits in the world, I would question whether bringing in the commercial will push out other less commercial things. It seems like a move calculated to generate buzz–but the MoMA should be about educating about the best in design.
Which brings me to the second point: if you are serious about quality in video-game interaction design, you have seemingly focused on 80s arcade and 90s-00s apple games, leaving out an entire era of Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft.
But again, my ultimate point is, isn’t the museum about education? Who doesn’t already know about SimCity?

Another point: I think it would be more appropriate to have a secondary design site (maybe at P.S.1) to showcase more experimental design shows or ideas like this. I think the main MoMA site should be carefully used for GREAT design.

One more thing: It seems strange to say, but I think you’ve got to consider ethics here. Many great MoMA shows had an implicit ethic to them: to represent new, world-changing trends in architecture, design and art. They changed the world. Video Games did have great influence, but their ethical value is more flawed–they were made to amuse (though maybe a side effect was they influenced a generation of software makers. But are they really the great examples of interaction design? Movies also influenced art and architecture, but they don’t serve as stand ins for the art and architecture they influenced.

*drops mic*
looks like I just b-rabbited the MoMA

To the people complaining about whether this game or that game was or wasn\\\\\\\’t on the list. This the MOMA we are talking about. It\\\\\\\’s obvious to me that you have never been there. If you had, you would know that there is nothing in there that even has the remotest resemblance of art.

nobody cares what your favorite game is, nerds

Just wandering: Years ago I purchased an Ohio Scientific computer. Wood case’s, small monitor, real floppy disks with Pac Man etc. full manual and everything still in the box. Does anyone want something like that now? Museum?

Spec Ops: The Line is a painful absence.

Why are there only lame video games here?

I am so happy to see Grim Fandango on the wishlist. Lucasarts had many amazing adventure games, but GF was definitely the best. It’s one of the best written and atmospheric games I’ve ever played. Glad to see it’s getting some recognition after all these years. It was never a big seller, maybe this will introduce it to a wider audience. ^I agree with Descent, Sonic, Neverhood and Half-Life/Doom having been left out, but I’d argue Rayman, maybe Tie Fighter, Relentless, and, perhaps even, Earthworm Jim are worth discussion. If this takes off at MoMA, they should think about doing special exhibits on games (not necessarily essential, or work of art games for the permanent collection) but ones that reflect a certain time period, aesthetic, or genre of the form (I’m thinking maybe an exhibit on controversial games over time, i.e. Postal, Redneck Rampage, Night trap, Mortal Kombat, Custer’s Revenge, Carmageddon, et al), showing the press surrounding them and why they were seen as being so dangerous. Now THAT’s and exhibit I’d love to see.

I would suggest “Under a Killing Moon” as a collection piece. Four CD’s of interactive and graphical wonder (for the time).

I’d like to suggest a game that offers splender not through visual presentation, but through it’s character design and narration, in a game where every character is simply a cube, yet you grow to love the characters more than any extensively animated character ever befoer seen, I think that is true art. To hie beauty in a minimalist ‘guise. The game in question is Thomas was Alone.

one word: AMIGA

SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS!!!

Video Games are more art then design. Design serves a purpose, while video games are a solitary experience that transports you to another place.

Thanks to everyone for their enthusiastic and overwhelming responses to this dialogue!

“Are video games art? They sure are, but they are also design”

So MoMA has spoken, unless you guys are sent by an almighty authority that overrides one of the most prominent museums in the world, kindly shut up.

Ah, reading this particulary flood of comments has been such a merry experience! So many different sorts of concepts clashing and combining! A historian’s perspective right beside gamers promoting their favorite games, an internet argument on the definition of art right beside invocations of the blood god, and that old pattern of gamers feeling all grizzled and old whenever newbies come along– all in a single stream. I must thank the Museum for this project, even if it were only for the discussion sparked!

Remember guys, many people are recommending games that are visually nice but if you read the second paragraph on “criteria” there’s more to it than visual design. It even comes down to few bugs.

all 14 games should be copies of Shadow of the Colossus. Shadow of the Colossus is not only the greatest work of art that is in video game form, but is also one of the greatest works of art of all time.

WELL IT’S ABOUT TIME!!!

seriously, it’s great that people are pulling their heads out of their holes from whens the sun never shon.

I classify art as a physical manifestation of emotion, Sherlock Holmes was a manifestation of Curiosity, The Scream was a manifestation of Fear and Anguish, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was a manifestation of Paranoia and Insanity.

if Film, Books and Pictures can be art, why can’t Video Games?

Professor Layton, is a manifestation of Curiosity, Shadow of the Colossus is a manifestation of Fear and Anguish and Max Payne is a manifestation of Paranoia and Insanity.

but because they are new, they are feared, like all new inventions, they scoffed at the Automobile when they said it would replace the Horse and Cart. they Scoffed at Video Games when they said they were art. well, look who’s laughing now?

I guess Final Fantasy was too Japanese, too manga. The games that got picked all seem rather American to me, at least in style.

Man, some of these comments…

It’s a list of video games picked by the museum by their research and collected knowledge that is only the start of a larger collection! It clearly says that games are being picked because of their aesthetics, the behavior they cause in players, and how they portray time and space. This isn’t a “TOP 5 GREATEST GAMES OF ALL TIME” list you’d find on IGN people! Games that are popular aren’t always actually great, and definitely might fall short of what the museum is looking for.

Bottom line, your childhood favorites didn’t make it for a reason, and not because they weren’t big/popular enough.

+1 for Elite. It was pretty much the definition of space-sim. Persistent world, non-linear, pushed technology to limits & enthralled a generation.

I’m afraid they are trying to avoid the violent video games, so the media wont give any negative attention.

Any 14 games could have been picked and people would still be complaining about them. This isn’t the definitive list of most influential most visually stylish most engrossing narrative driven games ever, guys. It’s just a few games they think meet their criteria, which is probably different from YOUR criteria.

Stop crying that game XYZ didn’t get included and realize that they’re trying to look at games objectively and as a whole, down to the very elegance of the code itself.

Does a game people think of as ‘artsy’ (i.e. Shadow of the Colossus) mean that it’s material for the MoMA? Not necessarily.

Wolfenstein 3D and Tomb Raider please. For their inovation in perspective and modelling is outstanding. Contemporary 3D gaming relies on their legacy.

Leisure Suit Larry

I would love to see the inclusion of some classics that were marks on videogame history: Wolfenstein 3D, Tomb Raider, Duke Nuken, The Secret of Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion (actually The Day of the Tentacle would probably fit best the collection). There is also a new game that is so innovative (at least concerning videogame industry) that I dont understand it is not there: The Secret World. But MoMA is one of the most importants museums in te World, those guys certainly know what to do. Glad to see great games on the list though.

Red Dead Redemption need to be considered for the list. I feel Rockstars capability to make a fully fledged out landscape that looks remotely real is astonishing. Also I feel BioShock is an amazing example of Rapture, a city abandoned long ago in a fallout between forces, would be a utter disappointment to the video game community if this was not considered. I mean, the first glimpse of Rapture is simply breath taking, in my humble opinion

As others have suggested, some PS2 classics seem to belong here, such as Shadow of the Collossus, Okami, Gran Turismo 3, Grand Theft Auto. Great idea and about time we started thinking about how to curate interaction.

The Neverhood should not be forgotten. It was beautiful in an unconventional way.

That awkward moment where the MoMA becomes a childrens’ museum.

Best said on gamesetwatch: “…Synergy’s … Gadget: Invention, Travel, & Adventure from 1993…noted director Guillermo del Toro says it went on to inspire films like Dark City and The Matrix…stamped an inimitable hallmark in the history of interactive CD-ROM as one of the most profoundly influential works of digital art whose inscrutability has mystified video game critics, still unable to find a fitting label with which to categorize it…rare masterpiece by Haruhiko Shono…

Perhaps a much better instantiation of fine art (via Wikipedia) created by Peter Gabriel: “In the 1990s, with Steve Nelson of Brilliant Media and director Michael Coulson, he developed advanced multimedia CD-ROM-based entertainment projects, creating the acclaimed Xplora (the world’s largest selling music CD-ROM), and subsequently the EVE CD-ROM. EVE was a music and art adventure game directed by Michael Coulson and co-produced by the Starwave Corporation in Seattle; it won the prestigious Milia d’Or award Grand Prize at the Cannes in 1996 and featured themes and interactivity well in advance of its time.”

+10050 for including EVE-online. I play this game, I love this game.

Most definitely some early 3D First Person Shooter as the previous poster argued. Either Half-Life, Quake, Doom. Stop crying that game XYZ didn’t get included and realize that they’re trying to look at games objectively and as a whole, down to the very elegance of the code itself.

Wow, MoMA, glad you caught up to the 1980s… so modern!

If there were a swarm of robotic nanobees hellbent on world domination, the MoMA would put them in a show and say they were great design

The MoMA should also install theme park rides in the central atrium… of course made out of recycled cow bones. the kids would love that one. It would be another example of design.

Then they should conduct a roundtable of the top video game players—a group of fat, smelly 40 year olds who live in an alternate reality as well as their parents’ basement

Wow awesome i liked it and thanks for sharing.

“I sat through an hour of trailers, and every one was stupider than the other,” Mr. Bloomberg complained to a writer for M magazine, “And then there were these ads for video games — for adults! And you want to know why we’re dumbing down politics.”

You forgot Elite (1984) – http://www.frontier.co.uk/games/elite/

Minecraft?¿

Not sure the selection criteria. Glad to see grim fandango made the list. There is a whole series of sierrra online & lucas art titles that have amazing artwork.

There is a subculture of “hacking” old video games to improve artwork (some publishers even release “anniversary editions” of old titles with new artwork). Many current game titles allow users to create their own artwork, add additional levels, etc. Not sure if this would align with exhibit theme but it shows an amazing level of enthusiasm.

Aside from the list of games you wish to add (all good picks) I would add some of the following games below.

• Battlezone (1980)
• Defender (1980)
• Galaga (1981)
• Dig Dug (1982)
• Dragon’s Lair (1983)
• Ultima IV (1986)
• Sonic The Hedgehog (1991)
• Doom (1993)
• Donkey Kong Country (1994)
• Master of Orion (1994)
• Super Metroid (1994)
• UFO: Enemy Unknown (1994)
• Diablo (1996)
• Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)
• Goldeneye 007 (1997)
• The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
• Metal Gear Solid (1998)
• StarCraft (1998)
• Planescape: Torment (1999)
• SoulCalibur (1999)
• System Shock 2 (1999)
• Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
• The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2003)
• Half-Life 2 (2004)
• Shadow of the Colossus (2005)
• Okami (2006)
• BioShock (2007)
• Braid (2008)
• Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009)
• Limbo (2010)
• Red Dead Redemption (2010)
• Bastion (2011)
• Batman: Arkham City (2011)
• Journey (2012)
• The Walking Dead (2012)

They all are titles that have had some impact on the gaming idustry as well have some great artistic flare to them. I would recommend trying to have all of these games for the showroom but of course it will take some time to do.

It’s official: the MoMA is an entertainment museum.

Jukka Tapaninmäki’s Octapolis and Sensible Software’s Shoot Em Up Construction Kit for Commodore 64 were real masterpieces, when remembering hardware’s limitations.
CBM 64 had just 64K (not mega or giga) of RAM memory and only 16 colors (not millions).

Even with limited graphics, many 1980′s computergame boxes were wonderful.
Especially that Barbarian II: The Dungeon of Drax cover, with the tabloid page 3 girl Maria Whittaker in metallic bikinis.

MoMA has Mazda MX-5 taillights in their collections, but how about adding a Wankel Rotary Engine to Design Collection? Or Moller International’s Rotapower engines? Mechanical simplicity with high performance fascinates me.

Or how about action figures? I have a large collection of Masters of The Universe figures from my childhood. (today I collect Winx Club) Tomart Action Figure Digest said that action figures are “art anyone can own”. I can live without Rovio’s legless birds and green pigheads, but where are the Lemmings 2 : The Tribes plushtoys, wind-ups and action figures?

Whole universe needs good art, so how about beaming whole MoMA web site to the universe?:

http://earthspeaks.seti.org/

I have to say I\’m a bit disappointed by the logic of putting video games at a museum. There is a case to be made for it, but I don\’t think it\’s very strong as stated here. Interaction design is a weak criteria that could fit anything–doesn\’t really speak to the historical significance that seems to be the main factor for deciding what goes into a museum

Good to see Simcity on there, hope Prince of Persia will be added to the list!

Not the games I was hoping for. That list needs at list ICO in it. In my opinion ICO probably is most beautiful game ever released. Truly a special game.

Marathon!

Putting video games on display devalues interaction design as a whole. It’s like letting michael bay speak for all of filmmakers.

Nice initial selection of games! I’ve played most of them over the years, among hundreds of others. I agree with others who’ve suggested Okami, Civilization, and The Neverhood as other excellent “wish-list” acquisitions.

As for those who are complaining about other people “complaining” that some games weren’t included, you’re missing the point. The fact that people are suggesting other games shows that MoMA made a great decision in acquiring video games for its collections, because people are *engaged* in the subject. Unlike most of their collections, anybody can afford a video game, and 90% of people in the U.S. play some kind of video games, so some people for the first time can have informed opinions about museum collections. Most museum visits are social occasions, and this subject gives even kids something to talk about, and as this thread shows, sparks conversation.

I think it’s great that video game artists are finally getting recognition from a museum!

Hallo MoMa; I hope you’ll consider adding ‘Starflight’ to your list; It’s a real classic, circa ’86 or so, and it does some things that modern games have forgotten how to do… like engaging the explorer player personality type… like sticking over 800 star systems (and some 1200 planets, each with a unique and laaaarge surface, some with unique life) into a single 3.5″ floppy disc (I still have my original copy on my shelf.) More than a few game designers of modern times credit the game for inspiration.

I have to point out that Dwarf Fortress is ANSII, not ASCII.

Whither Q*bert?

Video Games? Good one MoMA!!!
Nice hipster marketing.

First off, I have just got to remind, of the massive range of amazing, innovative and downright fun games that appeared on the 16-bit computers like the Commodore Amiga and the Atari ST. There were some inventive masterpieces on those machines. Where a small development budget didn’t have to stifle creativity, during a games development.

After a bit of brainstorming and a spot of internet based research, below are a few more suggestions. You can probably checkout footage of all these games at online video hosting websites.

The game “Sinistar” (1982) for its early but excellent use of speech. For example, when the Sinistar tells you to “Run Coward!”

‘Elite’ (1984) for its influence on a genre, on a generation and for creating a massive game Universe. This game provided a dynamic space trading Universe, complete with planets, solar systems, tradable commodities, upgradeable Spaceships and Pirates. All squeezed into around 48K of memory.

Paradroid (1985) on the Commodore 64. An awesome game, with far more depth to it than is initially apparent on the first play. The range of uses that a single joystick fire button is put too is mighty impressive. If you really want to make progress with this game, you have to balance short term gains with long term goals.

Check out ‘Virus’ (1988) on the Atari ST for early and innovative use of both in-game physics and 3D graphics. The craft you control has a vertical thruster which pushes the craft vertically upwards. To gain forward momentum, you have to tilt the craft, balancing forward thrust with the maintenance of altitude in a 3D landscape that was jolly impressive in its day.

The original “Prince of Persia” (1989) for its amazing atmosphere and the ground breaking character animation. Which stood out amongst games for being very smooth and lifelike.

Stunt Car Racer (1989) on either C64 or Amiga (take your pick, they are both awesome). Here was a racing game that revelled in the fun of high sweeping tracks, big jumps and an unbeaten Turbo Boost system. Also, at the top the screen, you could see how much health your car had left. As the frame cracked from left to right and rivets popped out from right to left with each heavy landing. Crazy, fun and perfectly executed. The C64 version gave the more advanced Amiga version a run for it’s money. But apparently if you hooked two Amiga’s up, then two players could race head to head.

Speedball 2 (1990) is awesome. Arguably the best sports game ever created. The classic version was on the Amiga, but it was also ported to the Atari ST and the Sega Megadrive.

For video game concepts, you can’t get much bigger than the ‘Civilisation’ games (1991) . Also for extra visual splendour and an insight into the game, most boxed PC versions came with a large poster, depicting the full web of technological and cultural discoveries that can be made during the course of a game. From the discovery of the wheel, to the likes of the different systems of governance, to the Apollo programme and beyond.

‘Lemmings’ (1991) was a classic, innovative and influential puzzle game that deserves to be showcased. It also had some great music. Originally on the Commodore Amiga.

For a quick visual demonstration of gaming, the Greenhill Zone from the first ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ game (1991) is worth playing. It is an awesome way of easing the player into the game and is good fun too.

‘Command and Conquer (1995)’ was made at a time when games jumped from using a few megabytes of storage on floppy disks, to using 650 megabytes of storage on a CD. So the extra storage space, brought with it an amazing range of in-game music and between mission briefing videos. There was also the space to include a campaign for each of the two warring factions, the GDI and the Brotherhood of NOD. This was an early example of successfully using the extra space on a CD.

Honourable mentions go to Super Mario Brothers 3, X-Com UFO Defence, Cannon Fodder (with the tagline “War has never been so much fun”), Road Rash 2, Grand Theft Auto 3, Freespace 2, IL-2 Sturmovik 1946 (an awesome and brutal Russian combat flight sim for the P.C, set over the Eastern Front during WW2), Portal 1 and 2, The Secret of Monkey Island and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.

Minecraft in it’s short span of existence has been responsible for creating more arts of work than any other game out there… I can’t believe it’s not on this list!

I am not sure why Eve made it, its as much of a piece of art as a spreadsheet is.

Flow was a nice choice, however I would of gone with Journey or Flower over it. I found them much more evoking. Art while sometimes has a vision for what it means by its creator, however it really stems from the viewer and what they take away from it. Everyone has their own special experience with it. From your experience with other players, to your take on what the entirety of the game actually means. I hope at least some day it will make it in there with them

Xbox One sounds bit like Psone. Very confusing. And will there be Big Brother Watching effect with the new Kinect?

Amstrad GX4000 games console itself would act as a spaceship miniature in the homemade scifi movies.

Its good to see video games finally being recognized!

I agree with the few comments previously posted that “Shadow of the Colossus” should be looked into for being added to this collection. I feel that it falls both in an art and a design category. Not only is it visually stunning, but the music composition and overall feel of the game is absolutely fantastic. Design wise, the game’s ability to make you feel unimaginably small next to the various colossus is impressive.

I also agree that Bioshock is an amazing game as well, (the first look at the sunken city of Rapture is breathtaking and a fantastic example of art deco) but I do feel that due to its relatively bloody nature, may deter it from being exhibited. Which is unfortunate, but also understandable, since this horror is part of what gives the game its wonderfully creepy feel. Also, the juxtaposition of music and atmosphere is unnerving, lovely, and comical all at once. I will always associate “Beyond the Sea” with this game.

pinballs are art too…will be the next…

Video games are a distinct and essential art form; the fact that MOMA is daring to take a first pass at including them is to be admired.

Remember, MOMA is a museum of art, not of video game history. The value of art is not simply its momentary effect on the viewer; if it were, MOMA would probably not exist. The Abstract Expressionists (my most loathed movement of modern art) are not important because of their technical achievements; they are important because of the questions they made people ask. It is not the immediate experience of art that is important anymore, but rather the ongoing effect of that experience.

This isn’t a list of great games – it’s a list of distinct and highly original computer-based interactions. Each of the games on this list can be seen as something totally different from anything else that existed at its time. The same cannot be said, for instance, for Skyrim, World of Warcraft, Quake, any Zelda game, and indeed almost every commercially popular game in history. Most games do not attain commercial success through innovation – they attain it through refinement of existing models for the whims of the market. In short, if a game is popular, it probably doesn’t belong here.

Notable exceptions on this list are Portal and EVE Online, both of which were built on existing models. However, both brought with them a vastly increased sense of the possible in interaction development. Portal was nothing short of ingenious and is very nearly a perfect game, but its real contribution to the player was the possibility of redefining the very rules of getting from point A to point B. And EVE Online is the best simulation of true human interaction in existence because of its diligently developed economic model, beating out Second Life in this regard by its inclusion of the element of human desire in competition.

Even Passage, which few people appreciate, belongs on this list, maybe more than all the rest. Just like not everybody understood or welcomed Jackson Pollock’s work (and I’m one of them, I might add), the influence of his work is undeniable because of the questions it left people with, not because of the immediate experience. I realize that discussing anything outside of the immediate experience is a lost cause when talking to gamers, but Passage is similarly important because it brings up questions in the player’s mind about the nature of game interactions and the emotional need for clearly defined parameters of victory – whether the player likes it or not. I played it when it was first spread across the Internet, and even though I didn’t exactly enjoy it, the experience of it and the questions I asked because of it haunt me to this day.

Bravo, MOMA – I won’t get to see the exhibit but I’ll do my best to catch the next evolution of it!

While I agree that games like Fallout, Bioshock, and Skyrim should be added to the collection eventually, something to keep in mind is that all of those games are rated M in the US. In a TED Talk, Paola Antonelli described about not wanting to show gratuitous violence in the exhibition, and the MOMA is a very popular tourist attraction for families, especially with this new video game exhibition, and young children will be viewing and interacting with this material.

Great article

Thanks

Dear MOMA, Are you going to add Commodore 64′s ”Triple Tournament” to your collection? It was published before video games became widely accepted form of entertainment, and it is so rare, that even lemon64.com Web site’s database knows nothing about it. It combines three popular video game themes (West World, World War 2 and Space Race) in the single game. arcadeflyers.com really shows how rapidly video game technology advances, half century ago there was not even pong. Are any of those arcade posters available in MOMA Store? What kind of architecture are Jet Set Willy and Addams Family video games? It is very important to remember, that history of microcomputers are much more than just Apple 2/Macintosh and IBM PC and it’s clones.

There are enough violent video games. So, we need a new Laurel & Hardy video game, where players do not use bullets or fists but cream pies. How about it, Larry Harmon Pictures Corporation Licensing? (please excuse my bad English)

I like how there are no rogue-like (1980!) or FPS whatsoever but they put Dwarf Fortress in there? What?

As Design and Storyline line, one of the greatest has never even been mentioned.

Planescape:Torment

That game, at the least, IHMO considered the most epic RPG I had ever playing. The writing and content blows you away.

I thought “Oddworld” set the bar for art and design.

Please strongly consider Shadow of the Colossus, it creates an environment and a feeling that I haven\’t seen replicated since.

a game i think you should include in this exhibit is Earthbound.

Very cool and sentimental list,
cheers, Reggie

This is great list! Thanks for Sharing above informations…

Good work MoMA! The ‘academic majority’ keeps on trashing game design and it has been going on far too long already. First of many steps to come which will incept the fact that games are a variation of art – and that some are pure art masterpieces.

I would like to see one of the Metal Gear Solid games on the list. Amazing story, good visuals, perfect voice actors, and that sence that your a Snake/Raiden throughout the games. And they last a VERY long time.

This is wonderful! A great advance, video games a true pieces of art, visually, story wise and musically.

I think some other games should be included like Okami, final fantasy and kingdom hearts, in terms of art, these would be my top choices as a truly magnificent piece of artwork,.

This is wonderful! A great advance, video games a true pieces of art, visually, story wise and musically.

I think some other games should be included like Okami, final fantasy and kingdom hearts, in terms of art, these would be my top choices as a truly magnificent piece of artwork.

Just some advice for your future acquisitions:

Flower and Journey (to compliment Flow)
Every Day the Same Dream (Molleindustria)
Shadow of the Colosus
Okami
Today I Die (Daniel Benmergui)
Odin Sphere or Murasama: Demon’s Blade
Missile Command (the flash version with the author’s quotation at the end)
E.T.
The Snail Maze from the Sega Master System
Doom
Mortal Kombat (Sega Genesis)
GTA 3
Final Fantasy 7
Phantasy Star Online

The cultural significance of each of these should be obvious.

El Shaddai by Ignition Games is in every way a video game that clashes the visual art form with the mechanical one. It has seemingly painted scenery that greatly varies and impresses from beginning to end, including gameplay that isn’t focused on strategy or precision necessarily as its focus proves to be much more bent on the fluidity of combat. Its a treat for the eyes with a tale loosely based around an age old Judeo-Christian tale of angels before the dawn of man.

While I agree with many of the titles that are on the “seedbed” list and many of the suggestions such as Bioshock, I will not reiterate the cases for them. I would instead like to add something no one else seems to have mentioned, the Mass Effect trilogy, created by Bioware. There are many that would complain about the ending, but that is not enough to diminish the greatness of the whole trilogy. Mass Effect is a “space opera” that is at the very least on par with the likes of Star Wars or Star Trek, and it has perhaps redefined what such “space opera[s]” can, or should, be, much like the aforementioned peers did in their times. It is, admittedly, a violent game that is rated Mature, and unlike other “Mature” games, it is actually a mature work. This maturity only adds to the credibility of video games (or at least some video games) as an art form. Like many of Bioware’s pieces it is an exemplar (or perhaps I should say paragon) of video games as a story telling medium. Epic is a word that many today abuse, thus devaluing the meaning, but I feel that It is truly deserved here. Though as I stated it is violent, but I do not feel that said violence should disqualify such a work, for it is filled with a great amount of nonviolent content that could, no, should be considered art. There are many stunning scenes, beloved characters, and more with artistic value, aside form the artistic value of the story. This story is capable of affecting one emotionally in ways that few others can. Personally, I am not often emotionally impacted by most stories, but Mass Effect’s influence on my emotions (and personality) is so significant as to be rendered ineffable. There are more details that I could state, but I believe this to be sufficient to clarify why it is my opinion that the Mass Effect trilogy should be included in this list, and recorded in the museum for future generations to enjoy.

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