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article imageReview: 'The Art of Video Games' at Smithsonian's American Art Museum Special

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By Leigh Goessl     Jul 27, 2012 in Technology
Washington - The Smithsonian American Art Museum opened a new innovative temporary exhibit in March called "The Art of Video Games". The exhibit explores the forty years since the first home video game was launched.
What is described as being one of the first of its kind, The Art of Video Games focuses on "striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies," notes the American Art Museum website. It also places emphasis on the art components that is involved with video game creation.
"The short, yet prolific, forty-year history of video games offers some of the deepest personal and globally connecting experiences in human history," guest American Art Museum curator Chris Melissinos writes (via exhibit sign).
Quote on wall of the exhibit  The Art of Video Games   currently on display at the Smithsonian Ameri...
Quote on wall of the exhibit "The Art of Video Games", currently on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
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The exhibit has a bit of something for everyone. Kids were loving playing games, both old and new, and for adults there was the nostalgia element and amazement of how much things have progressed since those early simplistic games.
"My hope is that people will leave the exhibit with an understanding that video games are much more than what they first thought. They may even be art," Melissinos wrote.
The galleries featured a range of game consoles dating back to the Atari, Commodore and Coleco, to name a few. Not being an avid gamer as an adult, I still found seeing the video game progression fascinating. It was also interesting to see gaming from a different kind of artistic perspective.
Atari VCS on display in a gallery
Atari VCS on display in a gallery
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This ColecoVision video game console brought favorites  such as Donkey Kong  licensed from Nintendo ...
This ColecoVision video game console brought favorites, such as Donkey Kong, licensed from Nintendo, into the home
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This gamer appears to be a big fan of Pac-man. Watching her movements while playing  she had solid r...
This gamer appears to be a big fan of Pac-man. Watching her movements while playing, she had solid reactive skills to this game.
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Close up view of a Nintendo controller
Close up view of a Nintendo controller
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Other features in the gallery included still images and video footage, which included interviews and screen shots.
Still images from  The Art of Video Games  hang in the gallery
Still images from "The Art of Video Games" hang in the gallery
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This wall flashed numerous designs  images and various forms of video continuously  sometimes showin...
This wall flashed numerous designs, images and various forms of video continuously, sometimes showing multiple images at once.
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One interesting exhibit illuminated how gaming affects emotions. There were three panels which flashed showing various people of all ages playing video games. The footage was capturing their emotions as they played, which ranged from non-emotion or intensive concentration to spaced-out expressions or smiles.
This portion of the exhibit highlighted the various emotions video games can trigger. Images of game...
This portion of the exhibit highlighted the various emotions video games can trigger. Images of gamers of all ages expressing a variety of emotions continuously flashed on the screens.
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For visitors of all ages, there is also fun in playing the video games. The line which was consistently the longest during yesterday's visit was to play "Super Mario Brothers" on the big screen.
Super Mario Brothers appeared to be the most popular game of the day. There was a continuous line to...
Super Mario Brothers appeared to be the most popular game of the day. There was a continuous line to play this one.
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For those interested, there is still time left to see this specially featured exhibit in Washington D.C. As other exhibits in the museum, The Art of Video Games is free and is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Art of Video Games will be on display at the American Art Museum until Sept. 30  2012. After thi...
The Art of Video Games will be on display at the American Art Museum until Sept. 30, 2012. After this date, it will travel to an additional confirmed 10 cities in the U.S.
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The show wraps up at the Smithsonian on Sept. 30, but game enthusiasts or anyone interested in the history and art of video games can also get the opportunity to see the show in another city.
The Art of Video Games is currently scheduled to travel to an additional 10 U.S. cities, including Boca Raton, Fla., Seattle, Wash., Phoenix, Ariz., Syracuse, N.Y., Yonkers, N.Y., Toledo, Ohio, Flint, Mich., Norfolk Va., Memphis, Tenn. And Miami, Fla.
You can view exact dates on the American Art Museum website.
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