|Art and video games|
The Art of Video Games was an exhibition by the Smithsonian American Art Museum which was on display from March 16, 2012 through September 30, 2012. The exhibition was designed to highlight the evolution of art within the video game medium over its forty-year history. Following its time at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibition toured to 10 additional venues in the United States. Chris Melissinos, founder of Past Pixels and collector of video games and gaming systems, was the curator of the exhibition.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is a museum in Washington, D.C., part of the Smithsonian Institution. Together with its branch museum, the Renwick Gallery, SAAM holds one of the world's largest and most inclusive collections of art, from the colonial period to the present, made in the United States. The museum has more than 7,000 artists represented in the collection. Most exhibitions take place in the museum's main building, the old Patent Office Building, while craft-focused exhibitions are shown in the Renwick Gallery.
A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.
Christopher Robert Melissinos is a leading figure in the Java community. He served as Sun Microsystems' Chief Evangelist and Chief Gaming Officer. During his tenure at Sun, he was responsible for the creation of their Game Technologies Group and was a driving political force behind the formation of several open source Java gaming technologies including Project Darkstar, and Java bindings for OpenGL, OpenAL and Jinput.
The Art of Video Gameswas one of the first exhibitions to explore the forty-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies. It featured some of the most influential artists and designers during five eras of game technology, from early pioneers to contemporary designers (see grid below). The exhibition focused on the interplay of graphics, technology and storytelling through some of the best games for twenty gaming systems ranging from the Atari VCS to the PlayStation 3.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum invited the public to help select the video games to be included in the exhibition. The 240 games on the ballot were selected by Chris Melissinos, who worked with the museum and an advisory group consisting of game developers, designers, industry pioneers, and journalists. The games were selected based on a variety of criteria, including visual effects, creative use of new technologies, and how the game fit into the narrative of the exhibition. Voting took place between February 14 and April 17, 2011. More than 3.7 million votes were cast by 119,000 people in 175 countries.
Visitors to The Art of Video Games at the Smithsonian American Art Museum were greeted by a 12-foot projection that included excerpts from most of the 80 games featured in the exhibition with a chipmusic soundtrack written and recorded by 8 Bit Weapon and ComputeHer. An interior gallery included a series of short videos showing the range of emotional responses players of all ages have while interacting with games. Five themed videos addressing the themes of Beginnings, Inspiration, Narrative, Experience and The Future showcased excerpts from interviews with 20 influential figures in the gaming world—Nolan Bushnell, David Cage, Steve Cartwright, Jenova Chen, Don Daglow, Noah Falstein, Ed Fries, Ron Gilbert, Robin Hunicke, Henry Jenkins, Jennifer MacLean, RJ Mical, Mike Mika, David Perry, Jane Pinckard, George L. Rose, Kellee Santiago, Tim Schafer, Jesse Schell, Warren Spector and Tommy Tallarico. The videos are also available on the museum’s website.A five-channel installation displaying advances in core mechanics illustrated how home video games have evolved dramatically since their introduction in the 1970s through elements like avatars, jumping, running, climbing, flying, cutscenes and landscapes The room also held a selection of concept art from several games of different eras. Five playable games, one from each era, showed how players interact with diverse virtual worlds, highlighting innovative techniques that set the standard for many subsequent games. The playable games were Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and Flower (video game). Interactive kiosks in the final gallery covered five eras of game technology, from early pioneers to contemporary designers, and 20 gaming systems from Ataric VCS to PlayStation 3. Each kiosk featured a game from each of four genres—action, target, adventure and tactics—that visitors could select to listen to commentary, game dialogue and music.
8 Bit Weapon is a chiptune music band formed by Seth and Michelle Sternberger. 8 Bit Weapon was originally created by Seth Sternberger around 1998. The instrument set of 8 Bit Weapon consists primarily of old 8-bit and 16-bit computers such as the Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, Commodore 128, Commodore Amiga 500, and the Apple II, as well as game consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Atari 2600, and an Intellivision synthesizer.
ComputeHer is a band created by Michelle Sternberger in 2005, making music using 8-bit computers and video game console sound chips. She is also a member of the chiptune band 8 Bit Weapon. ComputeHer's most notable work is her contribution to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. Her music is included in a new exhibition "The Art of Video Games" where she provides the soundtrack to a video of featured video games at the entrance of the gallery. Her Commodore 64 is also on display inside the exhibit. This exhibition is set to travel to multiple cities following its presentation in Washington D.C. in March 2012.
Nolan Kay Bushnell is an American electrical engineer and businessman. He established Atari, Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre chain. Bushnell has been inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame and the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame, received the BAFTA Fellowship and the Nations Restaurant News "Innovator of the Year" award, and was named one of Newsweek's "50 Men Who Changed America." Bushnell has started more than twenty companies and is one of the founding fathers of the video game industry. He is on the board of Anti-Aging Games. In 2012 he founded an educational software company called Brainrush, that is using video game technology in educational software.
The following list of games are those that were selected by Melissinos and the advisory board for inclusion in the exhibition. The exhibition is divided into five chronological eras, showcasing platforms from within that era. For each platform, three games from each of four game genres were initially selected for inclusion, with one game determined by the public voting to be part of the final exhibition. In addition, playable versions of five games are available: Pac-Man , Super Mario Bros. , The Secret of Monkey Island , Myst , and Flower .
Pac-Man is a maze arcade game developed and released by Namco in 1980. Originally known in Japan as Puckman, it would be changed to Pac-Man for international releases as a preventative measure against defacement of the arcade machines. Outside Japan, the game was published by Midway Games, part of their licensing agreement with Namco America. The player controls the titular character, as he must eat all the dots inside an enclosed maze while avoiding four colored ghosts. Eating large flashing "Power Pellets" will cause the ghosts to turn blue and reverse direction, allowing Pac-Man to eat them for bonus points. It was the first game to run on the Namco Pac-Man arcade board.
Super Mario Bros. is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo. The successor to the 1983 arcade game, Mario Bros., it was released in Japan in 1985 for the Famicom, and in North America and Europe for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985 and 1987 respectively. Players control Mario, or his brother Luigi in the multiplayer mode, as they travel the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist, Bowser. They must traverse side-scrolling stages while avoiding hazards such as enemies and pits with the aid of power-ups such as the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower and Starman.
The Secret of Monkey Island is a 1990 point-and-click graphic adventure game developed and published by Lucasfilm Games. It takes place in a fantastic version of the Caribbean during the age of piracy. The player assumes the role of Guybrush Threepwood, a young man who dreams of becoming a pirate and explores fictional islands while solving puzzles.
|Atari VCS||Target||Space Invaders||1980|
|E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial||1982|
|Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom||1982|
|Adventure||Alcazar: The Forgotten Fortress||1985|
|Gateway to Apshai||1983|
|Pitfall II: Lost Caverns||1984|
|Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle||1982|
|Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator||1983|
|Adventure||Advanced Dungeons and Dragons||1982|
|Swords and Serpents||1982|
|Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man||1983|
|Commodore 64||Target||Attack of the Mutant Camels||1983|
|Raid on Bungeling Bay||1984|
|The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate||1988|
|Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders||1988|
|Little Computer People||1985|
|Sid Meier's Pirates!||1987|
| Nintendo Entertainment|
|Target||1943: The Battle of Midway||1988|
|The Legend of Zelda||1986|
|Action||Mega Man 2||1988|
|Super Mario Bros. 3||1988|
|Tactics||Archon: The Light and the Dark||1983|
|North and South||1989|
|Sega Master System||Target||Fantasy Zone||1986|
|Missile Defense 3D||1987|
|Heroes of the Lance||1988|
|Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar||1985|
|Land of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse||1992|
|Spy vs. Spy||1984|
|Sega Genesis||Target||Gunstar Heroes||1993|
|Adventure||Phantasy Star IV||1993|
|Flashback: The Quest for Identity||1992|
|Shining Force 2||1993|
|Michael Jackson's Moonwalker||1990|
|Dune II: Battle for Arrakis||1994|
| Super Nintendo|
|Super Smash TV||1991|
|The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past||1991|
|Action||Super Star Wars||1992|
|Super Mario World||1991|
|Donkey Kong Country||1994|
|DOS/Windows||Target||Star Wars: TIE Fighter||1994|
|Adventure||Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn||2000|
|Uplink: Hacker Elite||2001|
|Command & Conquer||1995|
|Nintendo 64||Target||Pilot Wings 64||1996|
|Star Fox 64 *||1997|
|Adventure||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time||1998|
|The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask||2000|
|Action||Super Mario 64||1996|
|Shadows of the Empire||1996|
|Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six||1998|
|Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber||1999|
|Sega Dreamcast||Target||Toy Commander||1999|
|Typing of the Dead||2000|
|Phantasy Star Online||2000|
|Skies of Arcadia||2000|
|Action||Jet Grind Radio||2000|
|Rhapsody of Zephyr||2001|
|Sega Saturn||Target||Panzer Dragoon II Zwei||1996|
|Panzer Dragoon Saga||2000|
|Action||NiGHTS into Dreams...||2000|
|Command and Conquer||2001|
|Colony Wars III: Red Sun||2000|
|Point Blank (1994 video game)||1998|
|Adventure||Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete||1996|
|Final Fantasy VII||1997|
|Action||Metal Gear Solid||1998|
|Crash Bandicoot: Warped||1998|
|Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee||1997|
|Tactics||Final Fantasy Tactics||1998|
|Command and Conquer: Red Alert||1996|
|Xbox||Target||Panzer Dragoon Orta||2003|
|Sniper Elite: Berlin 1945||2005|
|Jet Set Radio Future||2002|
|Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell||2002|
|Sid Meier's Pirates!||2004|
|Xbox 360||Target||Geometry Wars 2: Retro Evolved||2008|
|Assault Heroes 2||2008|
|Adventure||Mass Effect 2||2010|
|The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion||2006|
|Action||Gears of War 2||2008|
|The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II||2006|
|Adventure||World of Warcraft||2004|
|Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic||2003|
|Call of Duty: World at War||2008|
|Tactics||Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty||2010|
|Age of Empires III||2005|
|Star Fox Assault||2005|
|Adventure||The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker||2003|
|Tales of Symphonia||2003|
|Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door||2004|
|Action||Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time||2003|
|Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem||2002|
|Metroid Prime 2: Echoes||2004|
|Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance||2005|
|Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy||2008|
|Sin and Punishment: Star Successor||2010|
|Adventure||The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess||2006|
|Super Paper Mario||2007|
|Monster Hunter Tri||2010|
|Action||Super Mario Galaxy 2||2010|
|Metroid Prime: Trilogy||2009|
|Tactics||Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbados' Treasure||2007|
|Little King's Story||2009|
|Battalion Wars 2||2007|
|PlayStation 2||Target||Silpheed: The Lost Planet||2001|
|Adventure||Final Fantasy X||2001|
|Kingdom Hearts II||2006|
|Action||Tony Hawk's Underground 2||2004|
|God of War||2005|
|Shadow of the Colossus||2005|
|Tactics||Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty||2001|
|Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown||2005|
|Armored Core 3||2002|
|Super Stardust HD||2007|
|Adventure||Dragon Age: Origins||2009|
|Final Fantasy XIII||2009|
|Action||Uncharted 2: Among Thieves||2009|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops||2010|
|Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Commander's Challenge||2009|
|Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution||2008|
Following its time at the Smithsonian, the exhibit was also shown at ten other venues across the United States, between 2013 and 2016.
Founded by artists, the Boca Raton Museum of Art was established in 1950 as the Art Guild of Boca Raton. The organization has grown to encompass an Art School, Guild, Store, and Museum with distinguished permanent collections of contemporary art, photography, non-western art, glass, and sculpture, as well as a diverse selection of special exhibitions. The museum is located at 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, Florida in Mizner Park.
The Phoenix Art Museum is the Southwest United States' largest art museum for visual art. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, the museum is 285,000-square-foot (26,500 m2). It displays international exhibitions alongside its comprehensive collection of more than 18,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. A community center since 1959, it hosts year-round programs of festivals, live performances, independent art films and educational programs. It also features The Hub: The James K. Ballinger Interactive Gallery, an interactive space for children; photography exhibitions through the museum’s partnership with the Center for Creative Photography; the landscaped Sculpture Garden; dining at Palette, and shopping at The Museum Store.
The Everson Museum of Art in Downtown Syracuse, New York is a major Central New York museum focusing on American art.
A companion book, The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect, accompanies the exhibition. It is written by Chris Melissinos, with a foreword by Elizabeth Broun, director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and an introduction by Mike Mika, head of development for Other Ocean Interactive and a prominent advocate for the preservation of video game history. It also includes more than 100 composite images of games created by Patrick O’Rourke. The book, published by Welcome Books in cooperation with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, is available online and at bookstores nationwide (hardcover, $40).
This section may need to be rewritten to comply with Wikipedia's quality standards. (December 2012)
An estimated 680,000 visitors came to the Smithsonian exhibit during its six-month display period.
The following is a sample of media coverage of the exhibition:
Myst is a graphic adventure puzzle video game designed by the Miller brothers, Robyn and Rand. It was developed by Cyan, Inc., published by Brøderbund, and released as a PC game for the Macintosh platform in 1993. In the game, players are told that a special book has caused them to travel to Myst Island. There, players solve puzzles and, by doing so, travel to four other worlds, known as Ages, which reveal the backstory of the game's characters.
Cyan Inc., also known as Cyan Worlds Inc., is an American video game developer, founded as Cyan Productions by brothers Rand and Robyn Miller in 1987, and best known as the creators of the Myst series. After Myst and its sequel Riven sold several million copies each, Cyan went on to create the massively multiplayer online adventure, Uru, which was cancelled and re-opened several times. After the departure of brother Robyn Miller from "Cyan, Inc.," a second company, "Cyan Worlds, Inc.," was started. Both companies are located in Mead, Washington, just outside Spokane.
Myst III: Exile is the third title in the Myst series of graphic adventure puzzle video games. While the preceding games in the series, Myst and Riven, were produced by Cyan Worlds and published by Brøderbund, Exile was developed by Presto Studios and published by Ubi Soft. The game was released on four compact discs for both Mac OS and Microsoft Windows on May 8, 2001; versions for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 were released in late 2002.
The golden age of arcade video games was the era when arcade video games entered pop culture and became a dominant cultural force. The exact time period is disputed, but key moments include the release of Space Invaders in 1978 and the vector-based Asteroids in 1979—moments made possible by the increase in power and decrease in cost of computing technology. This led to the rise of both video game arcades and video games in other media, such as songs, cartoons, and movies like 1982's TRON. Other iconic games from this era include Pac-Man, Defender, Galaga, Donkey Kong, and Centipede.
The concept of video games as a form of art is a controversial topic within the entertainment industry. Though video games have been afforded legal protection as creative works by the Supreme Court of the United States, the philosophical proposition that video games are works of art remains in question, even when considering the contribution of expressive elements such as graphics, storytelling and music. Even art games, games purposely designed to be a work of creative expression, have been challenged as works of art by some critics.
Flower is a video game developed by Thatgamecompany and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. Flower, designed by Jenova Chen and Nicholas Clark, was released in February 2009 on PlayStation 3, via the PlayStation Network. PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita versions of the game were ported over by Bluepoint Games and released in November 2013. An iOS version was released in September 2017, and a Windows version was released in February 2019, both published by Annapurna Interactive. The game was intended as a "spiritual successor" to Flow, a previous title by Chen and Thatgamecompany. In Flower, the player controls the wind, blowing a flower petal through the air using the movement of the game controller. Flying close to flowers results in the player's petal being followed by other flower petals. Approaching flowers may also have side-effects on the game world, such as bringing vibrant color to previously dead fields or activating stationary wind turbines. The game features no text or dialogue, forming a narrative arc primarily through visual representation and emotional cues.
Pepe Moreno is a Spanish comic book artist, writer and video game developer who has been drawing professionally in Spain, other countries in Europe and in the US since the 1970s. He is best known in the United States for his 1990 digital graphic novel, Batman: Digital Justice, published by DC Comics.
Game On is the first major international touring exhibition to explore the history and culture of computer games. The exhibition was first shown at the Barbican Centre in 2002 and has since been toured by Barbican International Enterprises to over 20 countries worldwide. It has been seen by over 2 million people across the globe.
In video-game culture an adventure game is a video game in which the player assumes the role of a protagonist in an interactive story driven by exploration and puzzle-solving. The genre's focus on story allows it to draw heavily from other narrative-based media, literature and film, encompassing a wide variety of literary genres. Many adventure games are designed for a single player, since this emphasis on story and character makes multi-player design difficult. Colossal Cave Adventure is identified as the first such adventure game, first released in 1976, while other notable adventure game series include Zork, King's Quest, The Secret of Monkey Island, and Myst.
An art game is a work of interactive new media digital software art as well as a member of the "art game" subgenre of the serious video game. The term "art game" was first used academically in 2002 and it has come to be understood as describing a video game designed to emphasize art or whose structure is intended to produce some kind of reaction in its audience. Art games are interactive and the result of artistic intent by the party offering the piece for consideration. They also typically go out of their way to have a unique, unconventional look, often standing out for aesthetic beauty or complexity in design. The concept has been extended by some art theorists to the realm of modified ("modded") gaming when modifications have been made to existing non-art games to produce graphic results intended to be viewed as an artistic display, as opposed to modifications intended to change game play scenarios or for storytelling. Modified games created for artistic purposes are sometimes referred to as "video game art".
Critical Gameplay is a video game developer, founded in 2009 by game developer Lindsay Grace.
Barbie Fashion Designer is a dress-up computer game developed by Digital Domain and published by Mattel Media for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS in 1996. The game allows players to design clothing and style outfits. Players can then print off their designs and create clothing for their real-world Barbie dolls. Barbie Fashion Designer was the first commercially successful video game made for girls. After its success, many other girl games would be made, leading to the girls' games movement.
A cutscene or event scene is a sequence in a video game that is not interactive, breaking up the gameplay. Such scenes could be used to show conversations between characters, set the mood, reward the player, introduce new gameplay elements, show the effects of a player's actions, create emotional connections, improve pacing or foreshadow future events.
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