Are video games art? They are if you ask Chris Melissinos, the curator of “The Art of Video Games,” an exhibit opening at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. this past weekend. The exhibit covers the covers the entire 40 year history of video games in all their varied formats. Museum goers are invited to explore the growth of the medium through hands on game play, video interviews, physical artifacts and screenshots.
BioShock was selected to be one of 80 video games featured at the exhibit, which Melissinos and his team first culled the entire catalog of gaming down to 240 titles they felt represented not just visual artistry, but technical mastery and narrative. From that large list, the museum polled the public for what should be included in the final exhibition. “I looked for games that ran the gamut of art, social commentary, storytelling and artistic license, and BioShock combined these elements in new ways,” said Melissinos.
“The thought of seeing BioShock on display next to Georgia O’Keeffe and Thomas Hart Benton is, well, humbling,” said Ken. “The fact that gamers put us there makes it all the better.”
The exhibit opened Friday, March 16th with a series of opening activities dubbed “GameFest”, which includes a keynote from Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, and a panel on the future of video games featuring Ken; Paul Barnett, Creative Director for Mythic Entertainment; Mark DeLoura, ex-THQ VP of Tech and Kellee Santiago, co-founder of thatgamecompany.
An interview with Ken will be featured as part of the exhibition, but you can take a sneak peek here:
japester | March 19, 2012 4:07 pm
What an honor! Massive kudos all around.
poeticmadnesss | March 19, 2012 4:15 pm
So much win! Congrats to Ken and everyone else who worked on Bioshock!
joshuadesimone | March 19, 2012 4:20 pm
Congrats to the team for this honor. Even if it’s not the goal when creating an amazing project like this, such accomplishments must be fulfilling.
Oh yeah, and HURRY UP OCTOBER!
hunterdavidross | March 19, 2012 7:18 pm
You guys really deserved this! Good job! BioShock is the best game, period.
evans0305 | March 19, 2012 9:06 pm
Congratulations, Irrational Games, on making BioShock the amazing game that it is, especially on winning the nomination for BioShock’s category. Truly, an accomplishment from the sweat of your brow.
deaddoucher | March 19, 2012 10:53 pm
That’s awesome!! I couldn’t think of a more deserving game. :}
bigdaddeh | March 20, 2012 12:12 am
Super cool! Not just for Bioshock, but video games as a medium. Brilliant!
felonious | March 20, 2012 3:49 am
Much deserved honor for Bioshock. Saw the exhibit definitely worth checking out if your in the area! The Gamesfest which was held this past weekend was a great time and really well done! Can check out all the panels they taped here – http://americanart.si.edu/multimedia/webcasts/ . Ken is on the Evolution of Video Games – the Future panel.
icegrove | March 20, 2012 3:04 pm
Congratulations with the honor of one of the greatest games of all time
losstarot | March 20, 2012 3:23 pm
This museum place is most fitting ^^
stephenpaton134 | March 20, 2012 5:04 pm
Bioshock deserves it. Congratulations.
juan29zapata | March 20, 2012 5:46 pm
I remember voting for this and then reading it passed! I think Bioshock is one of few games that I really can call art for all of its components.
Congratulations for such an honor to all the IG staff!
thefootpad | March 20, 2012 10:27 pm
Congratulations on this astounding achievement! Bioshock definitely deserves this most remarkable privilege!
undeniably | March 20, 2012 10:37 pm
This is great, and totally deserved.
taylormanz | March 21, 2012 1:44 am
GOOD TO SEE THAT VIDEO GAMES ARE GETTING THE RESPECT THEY DESERVE
mrtiddlywinks | March 21, 2012 11:23 am
This exhibit looks really neat, I remember hearing about it some time ago. I hope to have some chance to visit it before it closes!
deckard | March 24, 2012 12:07 pm
Well deserved chaps!!
x360small29 | March 25, 2012 10:17 pm
Awesome!!! i am so glad that not only are video games getting there just deserved recognition as art, but they are using the single game i say is the best or one of the best games for the argument for video games being an art form
wingsofthread | April 24, 2012 3:32 pm
I got to go see this exhibit not too long ago, and it was such an experience. The exhibit itself was rather small, but all the information and all the games, including Bioshock was just so fulfilling to see in an art museum. It was so emotional. Such an honor Ken!
retrobjectivist | December 18, 2012 8:31 pm
I went to go see it over the summer, it was great to see one of my favorite things in a museum!
bearybeary | January 4, 2013 5:50 pm
Congrats to Kevin Levine and his team for making the best game of bioshock ever.