40 years of video games

Has anyone been to the Smithsonian “The Art of Video Games” display?

localnews8.com/technology/30 … etail.html

Here’s the list of games on display (only five playable):

americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/a … uredgames/

Apparently, the games displayed are based on a vote.

I have so, so, so many things against public voting…

I can definitely get on board with a lot of those game choices but I find it unfortunate that there were no point-and-click adventure games, and though Fallout is an excellent crpg, I would have voted for Planescape or possibly Arcanum instead.

Yeah, I remember when there was open voting for this list, and I went and looked at the nominees and realised that there were perhaps three games on the list that I had played and maybe a half-dozen that I felt I should probably play sometime. Oh, console gamers.

I’ve been a console player ever since arcades hooked me up in the early 80’s. Played most of those titles there, solid list but pretty bare. Only 5 games final?! pfttt

A couple of weeks ago, there was an exhibition here in Brazil called “Game On”. It brought historic games to the unwashed masses. I brought my 9 years-old daughter and we have a full day of fun – no quarters needed, finally! She was amazed with Ms. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. We played Pong with classic controllers! There were several rooms, each filled with machines from a given era, going from Galaga, then Xevious, Street Fighter 2, consoles from all ages. There were photos and historic documents like computer scientists playing Space War, design sheets from games, Mario and Sonic drawings from the creators etc.

There was exactly 1 text adventure there: Infocom’s HHGG. There was the original Monkey Island too.

A truly fine exhibition.

I stopped in last week. There’s a small anteroom decorated with concept art – here an annotated drawing of Sonic the Hedgehog, there a sketch by Yoji Shinkawa – and, on another wall, footage of people’s faces, playing. That leads into the main exhibit, a cavern where you can play the featured games, Myst and Monkey Island among them. And then there’s an adjoining gallery full of backlit screenshots, with short movies about all the others.

It’s nothing you need to pay pilgrimage to, but if you’re close I’d say check it out. For me it was kind of a nostalgia rush. It was fun to chat with the other museum-goers, and mesmerizing to watch those pre-recorded faces.

What are Myst and Monkey Island, then, chopped liver? :wink: (Okay, I guess Myst isn’t really point-and-click. But Monkey Island definitely is.) For a mainstream outlet doing a video game exhibit, I feel like they did a pretty good job showcasing a variety of games.

Anyway, I didn’t go myself – a bit too far out of my way – but my housemate swung by while in Maryland to visit family and she said it was really well done and felt almost like a combination of a video game convention and a museum exhibit. I really wish I’d been able to go, but shelling out for plane tickets to DC was not really in my budget, so.