MoMA Adds “Pac-Man”, “EVE Online”, “Canabalt” And More Games To Its Design Collection

The Museum of Modern Art in New York has announced what it calls the “nursery” of a video game collection: 14 classic titles spanning the past three decades. Games, including Pac-Man, Myst, EVE online, Dwarf fortress, Portal, and Canabalt, were chosen as “outstanding examples of interaction design”, whether because of the way they encourage certain behaviors in the player, play with space, time and technology, or provide an aesthetic experience unique. They will be installed in March 2013, and MoMA has announced plans to increase the total collection to around 40 titles. Currently, Minecraft, MULE, Grim Fandango, and many more complete the wishlist. It’s an echo of the Smithsonian’s temporary The art of video games exhibition, which opened in early 2012 and spanned several eras of the game.

As curator Paola Antonelli explainsIntroducing the games to visitors will require unique challenges. Some of the games on the list are relatively short and straightforward, but others require days or weeks of dedicated play, and still others cannot be experienced without an active community. In some cases, this simply means that visitors will play a section chosen to “allow visitors to experience the game first hand, without frustration.” For games like EVE online, Antonelli plans to create a “guided tour” with the help of actors and designers. While MoMA insists that video games can indeed be art, this particular installation will reside in the Architecture and Design collection.

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