The Art Of Video Games – Heading to EMP In February 2013

Posted by on November 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Art inside of art. How artsy!

A while back, we wrote about the art of video games and revealed that it would be leaving The Smithsonian and traveling the country – moving from museum to museum over the next several years. Now, we’ve been told that it will be at EMP, starting in Feb of 2013.

The Art of Video Games is one of the first major exhibitions to explore the evolution of video games over the last 40 years, in the context of being an artistic medium, as opposed to just being a way to kill time. Focusing on graphics, storytelling, and player interactivity, the exhibit shows off the work of many of the most influential artists and designers in game development, both past and present. The Art of Video Games will be on display at EMP February 15, 2013 through May 12, 2013.

“Video games are a prevalent and increasingly expressive medium within modern society,” said Chris Melissinos, former chief evangelist and chief gaming officer for Sun Microsystems and founder of PastPixels. “In the 40 years since the introduction of the first home-video game, the field has attracted exceptional artistic talent. Video games, which include classic components of art, offer designers a previously unprecedented method of communicating with and engaging audiences by including a new element—the player—who completes the vivid, experiential art form by personally interacting with the game elements.”


EMP is a leading-edge, nonprofit museum, dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel popular culture. With its roots in rock ‘n’ roll, EMP serves as a gateway museum, reaching multigenerational audiences through our collections, exhibitions, and educational programs, using interactive technologies to engage and empower our visitors. At EMP, artists, audiences, and ideas converge, bringing understanding, interpretation, and scholarship to the popular culture of our time.


80 video games are featured in the exhibition, which demonstrate how the medium has evolved and are presented through still images, video footage, historic game consoles, large prints of in-game screen shots, and video interviews with developers and artists. The exhibit also featured games spanning 5 different eras of gaming for hands-on use. Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and Flower allow players to interact with virtual worlds and highlight the innovative techniques used by their developers that set the standard for many subsequent games.

The Art of Video Games is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support from Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins; Shelby and Frederick Gans; Mark Lamia; Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk; Rose Family Foundation; Betty and Lloyd Schermer; and Neil Young. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, “Treasures to Go.”


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Winter Hours: September 4, 2012 through May 25, 2013, 10:00am-5:00pm

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