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Video Games as Art? MoMA Thinks So

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Pac-Man and Tetris will soon be among the collection at the Museum of Modern Art.

MoMA says it's acquired fourteen video games for a new exhibit opening in March. Senior Curator Paola Antonelli says they’re part of interactive design.

“Art is a gigantic universe, and within this gigantic universe there is a galaxy called design, and design comes in many different flavors and one of them is interactive design, which is the way we interact with digital artifacts,” she explained.

She said the exhibit will also be interactive for visitors, who will be able to play the games. The museum has a wish list, to acquire about 40 games in all — including Snake, Asteroids, and Street Fighter II.

“People will be able to play games like Passage that take five minutes in their entirety,” Antonelli said. “For Pac-Man they’ll have like a timed interactive experience.”

She said the museum’s also working on demos of the longer and more involved games.

MoMA isn't the only museum taking an interest in video games as art. The Smithsonian had a video game exhibit earlier this year.