After Hours

The Art of Video Games on display at the Smithsonian

Eighty games from the last 40 years are featured in The Art of Video Games exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Get more details about the exhibit.

In March 2011, I asked Geekend readers what the Smithsonian should display in its upcoming video games exhibit. Many of you chimed in with suggestions in the comments and, I hope, voted on your favorite games on the Smithsonian's site (more than 3.7 million votes were cast).

Well, the tallies are in, the games have been selected and announced, and The Art of Video Games exhibit is open through September 30, 2012 in the American Art Museum. When the exhibit ends in September at the Smithsonian, it will travel to eight U.S. cities over the next three-and-a-half years.

What to expect if you go to the exhibit

The exhibition features 80 games spanning 20 gaming systems throughout the last 40 years. The games are divided into five eras with one playable game from each era available. Visitors to the exhibit can play Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and Flower. Also included in the exhibit are video interviews with 20 developers and artists, game screenshot posters, and many classic game consoles are on display.

Watch this three-minute exhibition trailer to get more details.

See more images from the exhibit in this CNET News gallery.

Exhibition tie-ins

Some upcoming events include Gamer Symphony Orchestra on April 29, Video Games: Beyond Play symposium (Part 1 and Part 2) on May 4, and a Music of Games concert on May 5.

Visitors can pick up The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect, a companion book available in the museum store. If you can't visit the exhibit, you can order the book online at places like Amazon or get it at your local bookstore.

For more information

You can follow @americanart on Twitter, read the American Art Museum blog Eye Level, check out the Flickr group, and visit The Art of Video Games exhibition's official site. If you're in the Washington D.C. area, you can even volunteer to work one shift a week at the exhibit.

Are you planning on visiting The Art of Video Games exhibit either at the Smithsonian or on its national tour? If so, what gaming era are you most excited to see? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

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