For years, many gamers have argued that video games should be considered as art. Now, the Smithsonian is proving it with their video game exhibition.

Hit the jump to see more on the exhibition.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has opened up their Art of Video Games exhibition to the public, and it is amazing. As the Smithsonian says on its website, video games are “an amalgam of traditional art forms—painting, writing, sculpture, music, storytelling, cinematography” and they “offer artists a previously unprecedented method of communicating with and engaging audiences.” The exhibition itself explores forty years of home video games, starting back with the simple Atari VCS. It features video interviews with 2o different artists and game developers, large in-game screen shots, and game consoles themselves. The exhibition goes through five distinct eras of video gaming. The museum also features playable demos of Pac-ManSuper Mario BrothersThe Secret of Monkey IslandMyst, and Flower.

The museum also had a competition for the public to vote on to select games to be featured in the museum. The competition was divided into divisions of consoles and subdivisions of game type. All in all, of the 240 games nominated, only 80 were chosen. Zelda games won the adventure subdivision of every Nintendo category, starting back at the Nintendo Entertainment System. The full list of winning games can be found here.

If the reasons aren’t enough to visit, the events below would be an another reason to go:

In case you won’t be able to make it to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, you can visit the exhibition when it tours the US. The confirmed dates and locations are:

  • Boca Raton Museum of Art in Boca Raton, Florida (Oct 24, 2012–Jan 20, 2013)
  • EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington (Feb 16, 2013–May 13, 2013)
  • Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, Arizona (Jun 16, 2013–Sept 29, 2013)
  • Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York (Feb 15, 2014–May 18, 2014)
  • Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio (Jun 19. 2014–Sept 28, 2014)
  • Flint Institute of Arts in Flint, Michigan (Oct 25, 2014–Jan 18, 2015)
  • Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis, Tennessee (Jun 6, 2015–Sept 13, 2015)
  • The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami, Florida (Oct 9, 2015–Jan 25, 2016)

So, are you exited for the Art of Video Games exhibition? Do you plan on seeing the tour in DC or any other location? Leave a comment below with your thoughts on the exhibition.

Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum