Wednesday, May 11, 2011

EXP Podcast #127: Games in the Gallery

Last week, the Smithsonian American Art Museum announced the games that will be included in its upcoming exhibit The Art of Video Games. After the curators selected 240 nominees, people voted for which games would be included in the exhibit. The list is full of influential games, so we thought it would be fun to go through the selections and discuss some of the highlights. You can follow along with us by downloading the PDF document listing the winners and runners up from the American Art Museum's website. It's a big list, but not nearly big enough to fit everyone's most beloved games, so feel free to share your choices in the comments!

Some discussion starters:

- Which of your favorites made the list? What were some notable omissions?
- What patterns do see across across the time periods and the various formats?
- While visual art is relatively easy to convey visually, it is can be more difficult to convey design philosophies. How are games best presented in a public format?

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Show notes:

- Run time: 48 min 20 sec
- "The Art of Video Games," an exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
- Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. Great podcast! I was very excited to see the Smithsonian doing such an exhibition and thoroughly enjoyed your conversation about it.

    One set of games that I was disappointed did not feature at all were the King's Quest series (particular V and VI). It may be nostalgia, but I think the series was influential in terms of the Action Adventure Genre and certainly evolved in terms of its art style.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Katie.

    Nice call on King's Quest! Hopefully the exhibition will do well enough to inspire future shows that can fill in all the gaps.

  3. Hm, I was thinking if this wasn't more like a Best games of all time rather than a Best art in gaming list.

    I mean I was probably hopinging for the more interesting and weird stuff like Killer 7 or hey, what about Mirror's Edge?

    On the other hand you can't expect a list based on people voting to not have SMB3 on it.

  4. Hey Christian,

    I agree with you. It seems like the voters took it as an opportunity to make it more about design and historical importance than pure aesthetics. Mirror's Edge would have been sweet!