28 December 2009

Exhibitionism: The Art of Video Games in 2012

If getting to the bottom of the Mayan mystery isn't enough of a reason to look forward to  2012,  we've got something else for you to put on your calendar. Beginning in March of that year, The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, will open The Art of Video Games, the first-ever US exhibition to comprehensively examine the evolution of video games as an artistic medium. 

Thanks to Atari and the Pong revolution of  the early 1970's, video games have become an  integral part of American culture.  Over 70% of our households play video games on a regular basis - and as Nielsen's findings [below] tells us, regular is a relative concept.

Source: [link] via [link]
While the numbers have many implications, there's no denying that video games - and home computers - have had tremendous influence on two generations of Americans, an entirely new medium of imagery, narrative, action and interaction engaging audiences and shaping lives.  Ed of the Indianapolis Museum of Art illustrates the video game influence in his life and particularly on his appreciation for Japanese art on the Museum's Blog HERE. 

Ed's blog also represents the growing popularity of  video game-inspired art exhibitions, which have increased in number over the last decade.  The Art of Video Games will take a much more interesting approach to the subject: the exhibit will focus on the development of video game visual effects and aesthetics since 1970, the emergence of games as a means for storytelling, the influence of world events and popular culture on game development, and the impact that the games can have on society. 

It's a fascinating subject and although The Smithsonian may be breaking new 'exhibitionary ground' here, they're not establishing this area of study but responding to it
en force. Which is great news for your dude the Dabbler, because I've been craving something new to in which to sink my academic incisors.  

Everybody in the Springfield Home Office intends to make the trek to our nation's capitol for this show. If you do, too, The Art of Video Games runs 16 March 2012 through 09 September 2012.  The Smithsonian American Art Museum is located at 8th and F Streets NW in Washington, DC.  A downloadable PDF map of the Museum and directions to it can be found at the link. [link]

Speaking of Atari and video games, as your favorite comicsblog is so inclined to do from time to time, we've been wondering what the 'grandfather' of video game consoles has been up recently.  Their mainstay logo has become entrenched in pop-culture  iconography to be sure, but we've been hoping the company's been looking as far forward as they have behind them. Still,  Atari has rolled out their online Arcade, a cool site more than worthy of our monitor minutes.  Though the selection's a bit limited (so far), Atari does have six of it more classic games high-score enabled and available for your online playing pleasure: Adventure, Asteroids, Battlezone, Lunar Lander, Crystal Castle and Yars’ Revenge.   Not that we ever have much time to sink -- always plenty of blogwork to do if we want to keep impressing our dabblers every day! But if you've got some spare time, check out the Atari Arcade HERE.

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