Video games have grown to become a significant part of our culture since the introduction of the first home video games in the early 1970s. More than seventy percent of American households play video games on a regular basis, and many families now have two generations of computer users, and gamers, at home.
Video games use images, actions, and player participation to tell stories and engage their audiences. In the same way as film, animation, and performance, they can be considered a compelling and influential form of narrative art.
Many museums have explored art inspired by video games, but this exhibition will be the first to examine comprehensively the evolution of video games themselves as an artistic medium. From the Atari VCS to the PS3, The Art of Video Games will show the development of visual effects and aesthetics during four decades, the emergence of games as a means for storytelling, the influence of world events and popular culture on game development, and the impact that the games can have on society. It will include multimedia presentations of game footage, video interviews with developers and artists, large prints of in-game screen shots, historic game consoles, and a selection of working game systems for visitors to play. In addition, the public will be asked to assist with the selection of materials for the show by choosing the games that they feel best represent particular moments in the overall timeline.
Chris Melissinos, video game industry expert and founder of PastPixels, is the guest curator of the exhibition, which will run from March 16, 2012 until September 9, 2012 in Washington, D.C