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 Started when project founder and director Alex Handy found old EEPROM chips of unpublished video games at a flea market, MADE hopes to secure enough funds to open a space for six months to a year to display classic games from Handy's and others'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.

37 comments
Aramel
Aramel

This is old.These days everybody is playing games online because they can connect with others so the game wouldn't become boring at some point.I guess once you went online there is no coming back

C-3PO
C-3PO

I remember playing this on the Commodore PET's at school... I also loved the early vector graphic games : Tempest, Tank War and Asteroid

vegesm
vegesm

Pong beacuse its and old classic which everybody played. Doom because the multiplayer and its nearly 3D graphics.

TBone2k
TBone2k

Although there were other fighting games before it, SFII pioneered many of the common elements in fighting games today and spawned a new revolution of PvP gameplay.

DT2
DT2

The first thing a visitor should see is a game of PONG flanked by Space Invaders and Pac Man on either side. The rest is just background noise.

digital riverrat
digital riverrat

I agree with the sentiment that Pong and Pac Man need to be included. They pre-date just about all the rest, though I think the Atari 2600 came out right around the time the Pac Man table games did. My family even had one of the early Pong sets.

nurjoohan
nurjoohan

I think they should add video games that were popular in each generation of video game consoles

Pks29733steel
Pks29733steel

The original 'Puk Man' (which was changed to 'Pac Man' that didn't sound like a curse word)!

floplot
floplot

Unreal Tournament 99. This is the best 1st person shooter game and is still being played online at GameSpyArcade. There is a problem getting config files, but that is being worked on now. If you know someone who has them, then you can just move them to the service folder in GameSpyArcade program..

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

Pre-dated Everquest and WoW for 1st person massive multiuser fantasy rollplaying games.

tranzophobia
tranzophobia

The problems is that there is always going to be some that are missed. However, some of the games that stand out for me include. Space Invaders, Asteroids, Pac-Man, Karate Champ, Track and Field, Pole Position, Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy, Atic Atac, Elite, Mario Kart, Zelda (Link or Ocarina), Goldeneye, Vitua Fighter (remember the first time you saw that in the arcade?), Doom, Quake, Half Life, Pro Evo, Donkey Kong, Mario, Sonic, Gran Turismo, Halo, Metroid etc...

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

When it comes to SEGA there are a couple of titles that really stand out. #1 Kid Chamaeleon Great story. Fun Gameplay. I'll bet you can't beat it. #2 ToeJam & Earl Revolutionary play style. Humor. Catchy music. Addictive. Also difficult but much easier to beat than Kid Chamaeleon.

pjboyles
pjboyles

Groundbreaking games should be in the list by default. "Decent" anyone?

peterl
peterl

I'm surprised there is no mention of the Colecovision console, since it pioneered psuedo 3d using isometric views in the game display with the game Zaxxon. Quite advanced (and addictive) in it's day!

bsauer
bsauer

Apparently there are a lot of commenters here who are too young to have played the classics such as Pong. Everyone seems to be unaware that the top two games both in Arcades and home systems back in the early days was Space Invaders and Asteroids with Space Invaders coming out first. Until Pac Man came out these two were on top.

fatedtodie
fatedtodie

For any real Gamer there are a few games that defined the industry. Pong is a given and needs to be listed, as will Tetris, Super Mario Brothers, and even Halo. There are a few games that need to be listed for their place in game history. Contra - Please tell me a game that had more impact from cheating than playing the game right? E.T - This game nearly killed video games until Tetris saved the industry. Street Fighter 2 - Fighting games became mainstream and exploded out of the arcade and onto consoles after this game. Sonic the Hedgehog - Proof that death and destructions isnt needed for a fun game. Mega Man - Robots, Guns, and upgrades!. Legend of Zelda - Almost all RPGs owe this game for their life. TestDrive - One of the oldest driving games I can remember. Microsoft Flight Simulator - No need for explosions, no need for anything other than the thrill of flying a plane. Metroid - Not all games need a Hero, some need a Heroine. Qbert - Never has swearing been so much fun. Pacman - No explanation needed. Many many more, but those are must haves.

mastertexan
mastertexan

Tecmo Super Bowl for the NES and Goldeneye for the N64. Two of the greatest games ever made.

CorporateLackie
CorporateLackie

I have one of the original commercial cocktail table versions of PONG ... I had to rebuild the logic card (no CPU) all just 74000 series chips. It works fine ... what can I get for it ;-)

mcandy
mcandy

Hands down the ones that started it all!

Slayer_
Slayer_

And its sequels were banned from a few countries. It was also one of the first games to produce ultra realistic crash damage, doors slammed shut from impacts, panels hinged, bent, and fell off, etc. Viper racing was another with real'ish damage physics, but in that game, there was no solid structure to your car, hit a tree and your car could fold up in half. Take a jump to high and your bumpers would get stretched upwards in impossible ways.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

If the latest editions; Morrowind and Obilivion aren't art then I don't know what is!

cbader
cbader

They should have Pong and Pac-Man, then move on to Super Mario Brothers and Zelda. Sonic The Hedgehog, Doom, Halo.

Dogcatcher
Dogcatcher

If the Smithsonian is doing history, seems to me they need to start with some of the early games such as Pong and Pac-Man, which laid the foundation for all the subsequent advances in video games.

ccormier
ccormier

Adventure for the Atari 2600, Super Mario Bros for the NES. Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis. Neuromancer for the Commodore 64. Goldeneye for the N64. Halo for Xbox 360. Fallout 2 for the PC. Epic Mickey for the Wii.

ramjet
ramjet

I don't know what it's worth, but it should be in the museum for sure.

digital riverrat
digital riverrat

Septerra Core isn't a console game, it's a computer game. From the way I read the article, they're only looking for console games.

minor.morales
minor.morales

I totally agree. I still have the original box in pristine state. What a great game.

mcandy
mcandy

I still can't believe we'd sit in front of the TV and bat the electronic line back and forth!

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

Orginally written for the DEC PDP 1 in 1960, there was an arcade version.

Ric_Shanahan
Ric_Shanahan

I would cast a vote for "Legend of Zelda". First game that ever made me late for work! "TRON" as an arcade game, "Missile Command", "Asteroids", ... the list goes on.

Slayer_
Slayer_

"I also was sitting in on all the recording sessions for the game. Luckily we had some really experienced voice actors and a great sound director on the project, as well as Cathi as producer, who had excellent experience talking to actors. After all the work we went through to record 145 speaking parts and 35,000 words of dialog, it still upsets me that Final Fantasy X is usually given as the first RPG to have all recorded dialog. We had it in 1999, and we had ALL the dialog recorded, not just the main characters (yeah, I???m looking at you, FFX). That was Cathi???s doing, and I am so glad she talked me out of going with just text."

Slayer_
Slayer_

You have to keep the box of such epic games :). Who was your favorite party arrangement? I always liked Maya, Led, Corgan as my standard group.

MyopicOne
MyopicOne

Have a version for the PC, too.

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