The Art of Video Games, which travels from the Smithsonian American Art Museum to the Phoenix Art Museum, explores the forty-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium. “It focuses on the interplay of graphics, technology and storytelling through some of the best games for twenty gaming systems ranging from the Atari VCS to the PlayStation 3.” Eighty games, selected with the help of the public, demonstrate the evolution of the art. In addition to still images and video footage, the galleries at the Phoenix Art Museum are screening video interviews with developers and artists, along with favorite video game-centric films like War Games and The Matrix. And, of course, there’s a retro arcade available with classic games like Frogger, Rampage, Punch Out, and Tetris.
Chris Melissinos, former Chief Gaming Officer at Sun Microsystems and founder of PastPixels (and big time collector of video games and gaming systems), is the curator of the exhibition, and co-author of the companion book, The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect. The exhibit is currently on a three-year US tour.