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Smithsonian American Art Museum Opens Public Vote On Game-Centered Exhibit

Smithsonian American Art Museum Opens Public Vote On Game-Centered Exhibit

February 14, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

February 14, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
More: Console/PC

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has invited the public to vote on which examples of video game visuals will be displayed at an upcoming "Art of Video Games" exhibit.

A voting web site unveiled today allows registered users to vote on 240 nominated games from across 20 different systems, divided up by genre and platform.

The 80 games that receive the most votes in each category through April 7 will have representative screenshots and videos shown at the museum starting March 16, 2012.

Nominees were chosen by Past Pixels web site founder Chris Melissinos for "their graphic excellence, artistic intent and innovative game design," and approved by an advisory board made up of prominent developers, executives, academics and press.

“I want this exhibition to include the collective voice of the video game world, which is not limited to the developers, designers and artists but also the game players,” said Melissinos. “It is important to me that when gamers visit the exhibition, they find the experiences that most matter to them.”

First announced in late 2009, the exhibit is not the Smithsonian's first foray into video game appreciation. Magnavox Odyssey creator Ralph Baer donated his video game test units, production models, notes, and schematics to the organization in 2006.

The Smithsonian's 137 million item artifact collection also includes general gaming history items such as an original Game Boy and a Pac-Man Gumball bank, which are rotated through the Smithsonian museums regularly.

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