Art, Games

MoMA Set to Display Video Games as Artworks

Portal is going to be in a museum. Seriously.

I just read the coolest piece of news I’ve seen in a long time: the Museum of Modern Art is acquiring video games for a new art display, connected to the department of architecture and design. Criteria like aesthetics, time, and the use of space is what determines which games are chosen to be included as artworks.

On MoMA’s Inside/Out blog this morning, senior curator Paola Antonelli wrote:

“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… Our criteria, therefore, emphasize not only the visual quality and aesthetic experience of each game, but also the many other aspects–from the elgance of the code to the design of the player’s behavior–that pertain to interaction design… This acquisition allows the Museum to study, preserve, and exhibit video games as part of its Architecture and Design collection.”

You can read the whole thing here. I’m excited to see that Tetris, Portal, EVE: Online, and flOw have already been acquired, out of 14 so far! In all, the museum wants to collect 40 games, with the installation appearing next March. It will feature some demo-like videos of the games or, whenever possible, hands-on gaming right there in the museum.


6 thoughts on “MoMA Set to Display Video Games as Artworks”

    1. True! And I hadn’t heard of some of the game that were selected, so I’m curious to learn more about them. I feel like I should get a “history of video games” type of book!

  1. Awesome! I love the MoMA. Actually, video games have been on display as pieces of art in the Museum of Moving Image in NYC. You can even play some of them. It’s a huge deal if an even bigger museum like the MoMA wants to now add games as works of art too.

    1. That is so cool, I didn’t know about the Museum of the Moving Image! It’s been about 10 years since I’ve been to NYC, but now I’m thinking a trip is in order sometime in the near future.

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