After Hours

What video games should the Smithsonian display?

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is putting together an exhibit about the history of video games and is asking the public to vote on which game titles to display.

I've played video games on nearly every console created, starting with the Atari and the Commodore 64 all the way through the current "next-gen" consoles and PC games. So I was excited to hear that the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. will have an exhibit called The Art of Video Games from March 16 - September 30, 2012. The Smithsonian wants public input on which game titles to include in the exhibit.

The Smithsonian has divided the history of gaming consoles into five categories (1970s to early 80s, mid-80s to early 90s, early 90s to mid-90s, mid-90s to early 2000s, and 2000s to today), and there are 15 titles listed for each console. These basically break the video game consoles into their respective generations starting with Atari and traveling through the NES, Sega Genesis, SNES, Playstation, N64, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation 3, Xbox360, and Wii, including PC generations since around 1995. All of this is kind of confusing, so the Smithsonian has provided pictures on the project website to help you understand the various categories. Update: The voting period has been extended to midnight April 17, 2011. (Note: You have to register on the site to vote and to see the photos.)

In related news, the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE), a San Francisco-based movement, is looking for monetary donations so it can do similar projects. Started when project founder and director Alex Handy found old EEPROM chips of unpublished video games at a flea market, MADE hopes to secure enough funds to open a space for six months to a year to display classic games from Handy's and others' collections.

What classic video games and/or consoles are your favorites? Would you go to a video game exhibit? Share your comments in the discussion.

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