A new exhibition in the United States explores the forty-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium. The Art of Video Games, running from 16 March to 30 September 2011 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C, will feature some of the most influential video game artists and designers, from pioneers such as David Crane and Warren Robinet, to contemporary designers like Kellee Santiago and David Jaffe

The exhibition focuses on the use of striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies by these and other designers, and explores the influences on game designers over the past five eras of game design. Chris Melissinos, the founder of Past Pixels and curator of the exhibition, worked with an advisory group consisting of game developers, designers, journalists, as well as taking submissions from the general public, to select the eighty games featured in the exhibition

According to the Smithsonian American Art Museum video games are a "compelling and influential form of narrative art" in much the same way as film, animation and performance. In addition to the featured games there will be five games available for visitors to play for a few minutes including Pac-Man, Super Mario Bothers and World of Warcraft, as well as video interviews with developers and exhibits of historic game consoles

The advisory group selected the games based on a number of criteria including visual effects, creative use of new technologies, how the games fit in with the narrative of the exhibition and how world events and popular culture have influenced their message

For more information about the exhibition visit the American Art Museum at: http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2012/games/

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