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Flower, Halo 2600 Gain Entrance To Smithsonian American Art Museum

by Matt Bertz on Dec 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM

The venerable home to paintings by Lichtenstein and Homer (not that Homer) now welcomes thatgamecompany and Ed Fries.

Today the Smithsonian American Art Museum acquired two more video games for its permanent collection. Thatgamecompany's Flower and Ed Fries' retro demake of Bungie's famed shooter, Halo 2600. Both are being included in "The Art of Video Games" exhibit, which opened last year.

"Video games represent a vast, diverse and rapidly evolving new genre that is crucial to our understanding of the American story," said film and media arts curator Michael Mansfield. "Flower and Halo 2600 are important additions to our collection, but they are just the beginning of our work in this area. By bringing these games into a public collection, the museum has the opportunity to investigate both the material science of video game components and develop best practices for the digital preservation of the source code for the games themselves."


Our Take
Whenever a major institution takes an inclusive approach to video games as an art form, it further demonstrates the short-sightedness Roger Ebert exercised in his controversial argument dismissing interactive entertainment altogether several years ago. Now, the arguments are less about whether or not video games are art, but rather which games are the best representations of the art medium. It's a refreshing change.