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Smithsonian Joins MoMA in Expanding Video Game Effort

by Mostafa Heddaya on December 17, 2013

Smithsonian curator Chris Melissinos and a screenshot of one of the acquired video games.

Smithsonian curator Chris Melissinos and a screenshot of one of the acquired video games. (via YouTube)

As the Smithsonian American Art Museum continues to expand its video game collection (two acquisitions were announced today), so too does the Washington, DC-based institution find itself increasingly dedicated to documenting the broader culture of video game production. Currently on view on the Smithsonian’s YouTube channel are a number of recorded artifacts connected to this collection, including 20 interviews with video designers and luminaries. (The video below is a conversation with Chris Melissinos, curator of the museum’s popular 2012 show The Art of Video Games.)

A major component of the effort to include video games within the framework of the museum involves educating the public about the aesthetic significance of these digital objects, so although the Museum of Modern Art has dedicated significant resources to the medium as well, the Smithsonian’s documentary archive is an important contribution toward making video games intelligible within the museum context.

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