Voting Begins for Smithsonian Videogame Exhibit

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Voting Begins for Smithsonian Videogame Exhibit

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The Smithsonian American Art Museum is asking the public to help it choose which titles will appear in its first-ever Art of Video Games exhibit.

Back in December 2009, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, announced plans for an exhibition entitled The Art of Video Games, the first-ever attempt to "examine comprehensively the evolution of videogames themselves as an artistic medium." And while the exhibit is still more than a year away from launch, the museum is asking for help from the public to determine which games should be included in the display.

"I want this exhibition to include the collective voice of the videogame world, which is not limited to the developers, designers and artists but also the game players," said curator Chris Melissinos. "It is important to me that when gamers visit the exhibition, they find the experiences that most matter to them."

The voting process is simple. Log in to artofvideogames.org (registration is required but it's the simplest sign-up process you'll ever see), then pick an era and have at it. The site just opened today and at the time of writing it was a bit wonky, so if you run into grief at any point, give it awhile and try again later. You don't have to vote on everything and you can make multiple trips to the site to complete your entries, but be aware that once you've cast a ballot it can't be changed, so choose wisely!

Voting on the Art of Video Games exhibition will remain open until April 7. The results will be made public in May, while the exhibit itself opens in Washington D.C. on March 16, 2012.

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Apparently the site doesn't work with Firefox? I choose an era and nothing appears.

EDIT: Tried opening it with IE too, still nothing.

You know, it does occur to me that if The Smithsonian is serious about this it might want to do a little more than just focusing on the art of video games, they are a major museum and research center with huge resources to finance expeditions and such. It would be interesting to see them try and get to the bottom of some of the longest running mysteries about video games, as they have done for other things.

Right now for example there is some occasional discussion about the game "Polybius" and whether it ever actually existed. This featured heavily in The Escapist's "Doomsday Arcade" if I remember. It's involvement in the short lived TV show "Blister" and the lack of resolution wound up adding to the urban legend cred.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polybius_(game)

I wonder what would happen if The Smithosonian got involved in investigating that one with it's power and resources. I believe these guys have chased Yetis and stuff before, so it wouldn't be a major stretch, and truthfully I've been kind of curious.

That's the big one, but on a side note gaming does have urban legends involving things like the "Tails Doll" from "Sonic R". Before meme became a household word, or creepypasta really existed, we had this urban legend about people being cursed by that game, along with stories that the so called "Tails Doll" was never supposed to be in the game to begin with. Finding the origins of this one would be interesting as well (though not as much as the above).

Ahh well, all wishful thinking aside, it's nice to see video gaming receiving the credit to warrent attention from the Smithosonian.

Xzi:
Apparently the site doesn't work with Firefox? I choose an era and nothing appears.

EDIT: Tried opening it with IE too, still nothing.

Same thing with me, absolutely zilch in the era sections.

Hopefully this will kill the "games aren't art" thing.

I'll get to voting on this at some point, but as I've only just recently gotten serious about gaming, I don't really feel qualified to vote on any games earlier than the Next Generation back to about mid Transition.

Well, except for those long running game series. You know the ones.

Xzi:
Apparently the site doesn't work with Firefox? I choose an era and nothing appears.

EDIT: Tried opening it with IE too, still nothing.

Ya, the site wont work for me either.

Sounds like an interesting exhibit, and I'd love to contribute in any way that I can, but registration?? Meh, what difference can one vote make?

Yay for non-gamers finally starting to take the medium seriously.

Edit: Also, no kidding with the whole "registration is required but it's the simplest sign-up process you'll ever see" thing. I like.

Wait the Smithsonian in DC with something interesting for a change?

I know what I'm doing in March.

I wonder what Roger Ebert thinks about this.

That Polybius stuff sounds like the makings for a good Warehouse 13 episode.

From the Wiki page:
quickly followed by clusters of visits from men in black

Yeah, I think I know where that arcade cabinet ended up. Same place as the ark of the covenant at the end of raiders.

OT: Yeah the website appears to be quite borked at the moment, logged in and unable to access any of the eras to vote on anything. Follow the link to the era and something goes kerflewy with staying logged in cause the "you are logged in as" message reflects no user name and returning to the home page shows you are logged out.

Oh man, just wait for a bunch of idiots to have some random CoD game be chosen for the modern days.

They'll never take the classics though! Zork will live on forever!

I can't make the website work, but recognise Earthworm Jim and Super Stardust HD from the era pictures. If they're the examples, it seems like it's in the right areas if I can't get a vote to work.

I can't even register or sign up. Nothing on the site is working...

No games in the eras for me...

The games just take a while to load. Give it ~2 minutes. If it doesn't load, refresh the page and try waiting another ~2 minutes.

I know about the problem, but just have a little patience. It took me a while too but I eventually got it to work. I've now voted for each era ;D

Stammer:
The games just take a while to load. Give it ~2 minutes. If it doesn't load, refresh the page and try waiting another ~2 minutes.

I know about the problem, but just have a little patience. It took me a while too but I eventually got it to work. I've now voted for each era ;D

Yep, took three min to load for me.

Stammer:
The games just take a while to load. Give it ~2 minutes. If it doesn't load, refresh the page and try waiting another ~2 minutes.

I know about the problem, but just have a little patience. It took me a while too but I eventually got it to work. I've now voted for each era ;D

Its still not working for me.

Stammer:
The games just take a while to load. Give it ~2 minutes. If it doesn't load, refresh the page and try waiting another ~2 minutes.

I know about the problem, but just have a little patience. It took me a while too but I eventually got it to work. I've now voted for each era ;D

I see. Well the page says it's finished loading after a couple seconds.

Anyone who doesn't give Final Fantasy Tactics the Playstation's vote doesn't get into Valhalla.

Worked on Safari. I'm amazed that they didn't have Super Metroid for the SNES. I thought for sure they would.

THe site isn't the best, but it's kind of a cool idea, so I'm being patient.

I'll have to vote as soon as I feel bothered.

Voted for half life. Let's hope Half life gets picked over another faceless COD game.

I'd imagine Susan Arendt is giggling with glee over PN03 being one of the nominees. :)

Ultratwinkie:
Voted for half life. Let's hope Half life gets picked over another faceless COD game.

Meh, I doubt I'd vote for Half Life anyway, but at least in the modern era they have HL2 up against Portal. Even if I liked HL2, there's no way I'd put it above Portal either as a better game or a better example of games as art. I certainly agree with not voting for CoD though.

Era 5 was when it got really hard to decide, but ultimately I just had to go with "Shadow of the Collosus". I know it's not the most mainstream game of the era (these polls are for what games had the most impact in their time period, so Super Mario World 3 would have easily been mainstream at the time), but damnit, I cannot say no to Team ICO.

Simplest regertartion process is a understatment.

Voting as soon as the damn thing loads.

EDIT: LOL'd at ET as a voteing option.

StriderShinryu:
I'd imagine Susan Arendt is giggling with glee over PN03 being one of the nominees. :)

Ultratwinkie:
Voted for half life. Let's hope Half life gets picked over another faceless COD game.

Meh, I doubt I'd vote for Half Life anyway, but at least in the modern era they have HL2 up against Portal. Even if I liked HL2, there's no way I'd put it above Portal either as a better game or a better example of games as art. I certainly agree with not voting for CoD though.

At least they put up the original fallout in the adventure genre. That gives hope, since it's competition is rather laughable.

I would have loved to have been there for the selection process....

Some of the omissions and choices I have to make on that website are just BRUTAL.

terriblejustterrible:
I would have loved to have been there for the selection process....

Some of the omissions and choices in this list are just BRUTAL.

I know, they really did their homework.

Site is slow as hell. Hope this doesn't give too much ego to "games are art" people.

I got games in two of the eras at one point, I just had to wait a while.

Website functionality issues aside, this sounds very cool. I think this is a big step in video games gaining mainstream acceptance. I can't wait to see how this turns out.

I've never wanted a site to work so badly. MUST VOTE LET ME VOTE.

What the fuck!? Why are Dune and Sim City, and Ultima 4 NOT in a PC section? The hell, Ultima 4 was even ported by SEGA, doesn't have anything to do with the original creator.

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