When was the last time you went to a museum? What with the Internet and a Blu Ray disc close at hand, museums aren’t the draws they once were. Why bother?
But if you’ve got the time this summer, here’s my suggestion. Head to The Smithsonian in Washington DC and check out an invigorating and evocative exhibit featuring video games. Yep. Gaming. At the Smithsonian.
Here’s a trailer.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is hosting a summer-long exhibition on and about video games. Covering nearly 40 years of history and art from all of the video games you’d care to see, the Smithsonian Institute reps say you’ll never see anything like it. It’ll be cool to see the multiplayer version of Atari’s Pong that Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, Apple cofounders, helped designed as teenagers when Nolan Bushnell was running the shop.
Video game art might include, reps say, inspired works of art based on your favorite title, script writing, character models, music and cinematography.
If that isn’t enouh to convince you to pile the family into a car for a road trip to our 100 degree summers, wait — there’s more.
The museum crowdsourced the game selections. Its curator, reps say, spent an entire year collecting votes on some 240 games — then narrowed them to the 80 in the exbibit. Voting is still open here.
At the exhibit, you’ll get a chance to play some of these classic games. Gobble everything up in Pac-Man. Get to that final castle in Super Mario Brothers, solve the difficult problems in the gorgeous early 1990s game, Myst, travel back to Monkey Island or lose yourself in Flower.
The exhibit is rounded out with a series of on-site events throughout the summer from music concerts, interviews and game play events. Here’s the museum’s schedule to help you plan your trip if this is something up your alley. You can bet I’ll be there.
And, if you can’t make it to Washington D.C. this summer, the exhibit will go in the road soon after it debuts in Washington. Among the cities it’ll hit are:
Boca Raton Museum of Art (October 24, 2012–January 20, 2013)
EMP Museum in Seattle (February 16, 2013–May 13, 2013)
Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, NY (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)
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 (October 9, 2015–January 25, 2016)
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For aNewDomain.net, I’m Christopher Poirier.