The Smithsonian American Art Museum added its first video games to its permanent collection last week—Flower and Halo 2600—cementing my assertion that no, I don’t need to go do my homework, mom.
If you’re not familiar with either, Flower is about as simple and relaxing and beautiful a game as you can think of: the player guides flower petals through a serene landscape that becomes more colorful as the game goes on. It was originally released for the Playstation 3 in 2009. Halo 2600 is a dual tribute to both the Xbox franchise and the Atari 2600 console for which the title bears its name. It was released in 2010 and is still playable online for free.
Both games were initially part of the Smithsonian’s “The Art of Video Games” exhibition.
"The best video games are a great expression of art and culture in our democracy. I am excited that this new medium is now a permanent part of our collections alongside other forms of video, electronic and code-based art,” said Elizabeth Broun, Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in a press release.
“The Art of Video Games” is on tour for the next two years in the following cities:
- Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York (October 25, 2013 – January 19, 2014)
- Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York (February 15, 2014 – May 18, 2014)
- Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio (June 19, 2014 – September 28, 2014)
- Flint Institute of Arts in Flint, Michigan (October 25, 2014 – January 18, 2015)
- Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia (February 13, 2015 – May 10, 2015)
- Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis, Tennessee (June 6, 2015 – September 13, 2015)
- The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami, Florida (October 9, 2015 – January 25, 2016)
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