MoMA: Games are art

Let the debate go ahead and end now.

The first 14 games “acquired” by MoMA:

• 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)

They want more, too:

Over the next few years, we would like to complete this initial selection with Spacewar! (1962), an assortment of games for the Magnavox Odyssey console (1972), Pong (1972), Snake (originally designed in the 1970s; Nokia phone version dates from 1997), Space Invaders (1978), Asteroids (1979), Zork (1979), Tempest (1981), Donkey Kong (1981), Yars’ Revenge (1982), M.U.L.E. (1983), Core War (1984), Marble Madness (1984), Super Mario Bros. (1985), The Legend of Zelda (1986), NetHack (1987), Street Fighter II (1991), Chrono Trigger (1995), Super Mario 64 (1996), Grim Fandango (1998), Animal Crossing (2001), and Minecraft (2011).

The article linked nicely explains the whats and whys.


Jealous, that looks amazing. And SPACEWAR! OMG!

Nah, that just means “games are modern art.” So you still have a whole contingent of people who will say that doesn’t count.

You know what? That’s a pretty good list. Very admirable that they have Dwarf Fortress in there, and Another World. Hooray for non-obvious choices.

There’s actually one I haven’t heard of: vib-ribbon. To wikipedia!

There are a couple of games there that reallllly drag the list down. Still, I wouldn’t ask the people at the supermarket checkout on advice on what games to buy either - I don’t hold the MoMA to higher standards than that.

It isn’t a buying guide.

Don’t talk to me.

List is better than I expected. Awesome to see Dwarf Fortress in there.

It’d be cool to see games like Passage in a museum since you can actually play through the whole thing in a few minutes and then view the plaque if you want to understand some of the intent.

Hehe, just as soon as an official games as art list comes into existence, fury is generated in my household – Oh no, can’t simply be happy that some games are officially listed as art, not when Shadow of the Colossus and Okami are not listed.

Canabalt? eh.

This is pretty awesome

I’m happy to think that some of the older classics will get the care and curation they deserve. The simple, effective, and remarkable clean designs of some of those classics deserve to be maintained as an example for future generations.