Pac-Man, The Sims, 12 other video games join Museum of Modern Art collection

By Daniel S Levine,

People may debate over whether or not video games are art, but New York’s Museum of Modern Art thinks it is. The museum announced Thursday that 14 classic video games are joining the collection, celebrating their unique designs.

Paola Antonelli, the museum’s Senior Curator for the Department of Architecture and Design, announced that it has acquired Pac-Man, Sim City 2000, The Sims, Tetris, Myst, and other games that will be installed at the Philip Johnson Galleries. MoMA hopes to have these available for visitors by March 2013.

Antonelli also listed several other games that MoMA hopes to add over the next few years, including Asteroids, Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda.

The museum has selected several more recent games, including 2009’s Canabalt and 2011’s Minecraft.

According to Slate, visitors will get to play the short games, while longer games will have “interactive demonstrations” that will allow visitors to appreciate the design. Visitors will also get “guided tours” of the complex worlds in games like Dwarf Fortress and EVE Online.

MoMA is planning on presenting the games as they were originally meant to be played and, in order to preserve them, it is collecting the source codes for each game. For older games, the museum will have an “interactive emulation” of the game, which will allow the visitor to play the game on a modern computer that should have the “same effect” as the original game did.

Anotelli stressed that the games are entering the collection to highlight their interactive designs, not specifically the visual aesthetics.

You can check out the full list of games entering MoMA here.



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