Fourteen Video Games on View at Museum of Modern Art

Video game's can never be art, eh?

14 video games will be among the items on display in Applied Design, an installation in the Philip Johnson Architecture and Design Galleries that opens on March 2 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). 

"Representing the new directions of contemporary design," says a MoMA press release, "the exhibition features outstanding examples of interface and interaction design, dynamic visualizations, products, furniture, 3D printed chairs and bowls, emergency equipment, and biodesign."

"A testament to this vitality and diversity, the objects on display range from a mine detonator by the young Dutch/Afghani designer Massoud Hassani to a bowl made by transforming desert sand into glass using only the energy of the sun. Also on display are the first 14 video games to enter MoMA’s collection as part of ongoing research on interaction design."

The games on display will be:

  • Pac-Man (1980)
  • Tetris (1984)
  • Another World (1991)
  • Myst (1993)
  • SimCity 2000 (1994)
  • vib-ribbon (1999)
  • The Sims (2000)
  • Katamari Damacy (2004)
  • EVE Online (2003)
  • Dwarf Fortress (2006)
  • Portal (2007)
  • flOw (2006)
  • Passage (2008)
  • Canabalt (2009)

While Eve Online, Dwarf Fortress, SimCity2000, The Sims, and Myst will be presented as walkthroughs or demos, the rest will be playable with controllers and headphones.

This is just the initial batch of what the MoMA hopes will be about 40 games that "emphasized not only the visual quality and aesthetic experience of each game, but also the many other aspects—from the elegance of the code to the design of the player’s behavior—that pertain to interaction design."

Applied Design will be open from March 2, 2013 to January 31, 2014.  Visit for museum hours and ticket prices.

Source: MoMA Press

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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  1. 0
    Conster says:

    Well, Pac-Man and SimCity 2000 can be seen, without too much of a stretch, as interesting allegories about the nature of mankind (the first being about the need to consume, the second about the desire for growth and how insignificant each of us really is on their own), while EVE Online could easily be seen as a psychological experiment on a massive scale, about greed and betrayal, so those are definitely art-y. Heck, you could make paintings about the first two, and the third could be done in a play. The same goes for the others, no doubt.

  2. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Interesting selection. I am a little surprised to not see Rez and RftS in there, but I imagine that there are a lot of ground breaking interfaces they still have to collect.

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