Minecraft and Magnavox Odyssey Are Officially Art

Minecraft and Magnavox Odyssey Are Officially Art

Magnavox Odyssey Console

The New York Museum of Modern Art has acquired six gaming classics and the original home console for its collection.

While you and I both know that videogames are art, for many others the concept hasn't quite taken off. That's why it was so encouraging when New York's Museum of Modern Art announced it would feature fourteen videogames as contemporary art exhibits. The original set included cult classics like Katamari Damacy and MMOs like EVE Online, but MoMA doesn't plan to stop there. The museum has now revealed that the world's first home console, the Magnavox Odyssey, is being added to the collection alongside six additional titles, including Pong, Space Invaders and the ever-popular Minecraft.

Most readers will probably be more familiar with Minecraft than the Magnavox Odyssey, but it's still an important part of gaming history. Created by Ralph Baer, the Odyssey first debuted in 1972, three years before Pong was released as its own home console. Unfortunately, poor sales (reportedly 330,000 in total) led to the system's discontinuation in 1975 with only 27 games in its back catalog. Nonetheless, the Odyssey earned the distinction of being the original home console, a detail MoMA will preserve for future generations.

As for the latest game exhibits, Minecraft stands out as the most recent release of MoMA's entire collection. From there, the titles move back in time with Space Invaders, Asteroids, Yar's Revenge, Tempest, and finally, Pong, which I'm surprised wasn't included in MoMA's original displays. Still, they're all classics with immense historical value, not to mention an excellent gaming opportunity for anyone currently in the New York area.

Source: MoMA, via Joystiq

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I'm glad we have an official authority on art. I was getting confused for a moment that art was a reflection on the human condition and could not be easily quantified or identified, bit was rather a subjective experience that facilitated growth in ones life.

I am trying so hard not to make a joke about how terrible modern art is, but I guess in order to avoid it I'm just going to have to say it: MoMA is probably not the best authority to tell us videogames are art.

I mean it's going to be up next to weird crap like this:

image

and this:

image

Yes, that is a chair next to an "object," whatever that is. The one above it is entitled "bitches brew," and I'm not sure if the red stuff is the paint that was listed, or if it's part of the "applied materials," but it's probably supposed to look like exactly what you're thinking either way.

I mean, when your competition is some rings and fake period blood encased in glass and a chair sitting next to a cheap end table, videogames can't lose on the artistic merit scale.

inb4 everyone attacking modern ar-

Dammit!

Oh well. Haters gonna hate.

I'm pleased that they've inducted video games into the art gallery. While some may think that its proximity to... more indescribable works may be harmful to its public image, the truth is that it won't. People come through the gallery in two mindsets: "Is this art?" and "This is art". You'll rarely get someone who hates modern art going into a modern art museum. People who think that all of it is, in fact, art (such as myself) will appreciate the unorthodox inclusion of a video game console and various video games, as games (especially modern ones) fulfill most definitions of art that you have to ascribe to to fully endorse all that's around you as art. People who question the value of the pieces around them will see the video games, and be forced to consider them as an art form and the ramifications of that. It'll get them thinking, and that's all we can really ask.

I went through the last paragraph four times trying to undoucheify it, but I can't. My inner art snob won't let me. D:

Errrrmmmm....

Hey, don't get me wrong, the Odyssey deserves all the credit in the world for indeed being the first videogame console. But art? Ehhhhhh I just don't think you can consider what equates to being boardgames on the TV as being art. It's literally 2 bars that you use to play using transparent overlays attached to your TV. From the Odyssey, games did develop into a form of art, but I just don't think the grandfather of them all necessarily counts.

But then again, art is in the eye of the beholder, so take a look and you can decide for yourself.

Loki_The_Good:
I'm glad we have an official authority on art. I was getting confused for a moment that art was a reflection on the human condition and could not be easily quantified or identified, bit was rather a subjective experience that facilitated growth in ones life.

Well damn, now I feel silly for thinking that.
Good to know those aficionados have our back on this one and can tell us what is and isn't art.

Shinsei-J:

Loki_The_Good:
I'm glad we have an official authority on art. I was getting confused for a moment that art was a reflection on the human condition and could not be easily quantified or identified, bit was rather a subjective experience that facilitated growth in ones life.

Well damn, now I feel silly for thinking that.
Good to know those aficionados have our back on this one and can tell us what is and isn't art.

Because, you know, they totally claimed to do that and didn't just put the games on exhibit because they thought it would be a good idea. No, they're always actively trying to enforce their view on art on the world and damned be those that don't agree, amirite?

Amirite?

Seriously, what the hell is with the site these days? People are actively trying to be offended.

lacktheknack:

Shinsei-J:

Loki_The_Good:
I'm glad we have an official authority on art. I was getting confused for a moment that art was a reflection on the human condition and could not be easily quantified or identified, bit was rather a subjective experience that facilitated growth in ones life.

Well damn, now I feel silly for thinking that.
Good to know those aficionados have our back on this one and can tell us what is and isn't art.

Because, you know, they totally claimed to do that and didn't just put the games on exhibit because they thought it would be a good idea. No, they're always actively trying to enforce their view on art on the world and damned be those that don't agree, amirite?

Amirite?

Fair enough but I was less mocking the aficionados, more the perception that for our media to be art it must be considered art by everyone and that gallery's are the final word for the public.

Though a short comment filled with sarcasm probably wasn't the best way to get my point across I admit.
Just the discussion of art often gets me riled up due to bad experiences, sorry bout that.

Shinsei-J:

lacktheknack:

Shinsei-J:
Well damn, now I feel silly for thinking that.
Good to know those aficionados have our back on this one and can tell us what is and isn't art.

Because, you know, they totally claimed to do that and didn't just put the games on exhibit because they thought it would be a good idea. No, they're always actively trying to enforce their view on art on the world and damned be those that don't agree, amirite?

Amirite?

Fair enough but I was less mocking the aficionados, more the perception that for our media to be art it must be considered art by everyone and that gallery's are the final word for the public.

Though a short comment filled with sarcasm probably wasn't the best way to get my point across I admit.
Just the discussion of art often gets me riled up due to bad experiences, sorry bout that.

Maybe you should try examining modern art on its own merits using yourself as a quality barometer, it helps you get over the snobs really quickly.

The inherent problem with art being subjective is that not everyone gets the memo, sadly.

(For proof, look at my avatar. Someone got into a fight with me once over whether or not it's art.)

So they still don't have SotC... Well, I guess it isn't really "modern art" and is more "traditional art."

Oh, and modern art is probably the best example of an industry that runs solely on someone's feelings that I can think of. It doesn't matter if what you create is amazing or not, what matters is what a small group of people feel when they look at it far too closely. High concept, low substance.

lacktheknack:
snippity

Maybe you should try examining modern art on its own merits using yourself as a quality barometer, it helps you get over the snobs really quickly.

The inherent problem with art being subjective is that not everyone gets the memo, sadly.

(For proof, look at my avatar. Someone got into a fight with me once over whether or not it's art.)

I must ask, what is your avatar. I am fascinated by it but I can not figure it out.

Gilhelmi:

lacktheknack:
snippity

Maybe you should try examining modern art on its own merits using yourself as a quality barometer, it helps you get over the snobs really quickly.

The inherent problem with art being subjective is that not everyone gets the memo, sadly.

(For proof, look at my avatar. Someone got into a fight with me once over whether or not it's art.)

I must ask, what is your avatar. I am fascinated by it but I can not figure it out.

It's a scene from Full Metal Jacket... but I have no idea what is superimposed over it (the laughing faces aren't a part of the original film).

Lack, that avatar has creeped me out for months.

OT: Great! It's a shame that Modern Art is treated like a black sheep of Art, but great none the less.

Gilhelmi:

lacktheknack:
snippity

Maybe you should try examining modern art on its own merits using yourself as a quality barometer, it helps you get over the snobs really quickly.

The inherent problem with art being subjective is that not everyone gets the memo, sadly.

(For proof, look at my avatar. Someone got into a fight with me once over whether or not it's art.)

I must ask, what is your avatar. I am fascinated by it but I can not figure it out.

It's the barracks scene from "Full Metal Jacket", except with doll faces stitched over it. And then it got corrupted when I saved it to my hard-drive. I should change it, I guess, but... I love this one. D:

Ragsnstitches:
Lack, that avatar has creeped me out for months.

You're welcome! :D

Minecraft is considered art now?

I know art is subjective and the observer decides whether or not it is art but.... Minecraft? How? I mean to me, Art is a piece of media that elicits an emotion or a thought but most of those games I wouldn't personally consider art.

I also don't understand why games have to be considered art.

No they're not. Art is inherently subjective, with little to provide practically. Games or consoles are as close to being art as sports is.

lacktheknack:

Gilhelmi:

lacktheknack:
snippity

Maybe you should try examining modern art on its own merits using yourself as a quality barometer, it helps you get over the snobs really quickly.

The inherent problem with art being subjective is that not everyone gets the memo, sadly.

(For proof, look at my avatar. Someone got into a fight with me once over whether or not it's art.)

I must ask, what is your avatar. I am fascinated by it but I can not figure it out.

It's the barracks scene from "Full Metal Jacket", except with doll faces stitched over it. And then it got corrupted when I saved it to my hard-drive. I should change it, I guess, but... I love this one. D:

Ragsnstitches:
Lack, that avatar has creeped me out for months.

You're welcome! :D

It is very good. I thought the corruption was part of the art. I would keep that in.

DerangedHobo:
I also don't understand why games have to be considered art.

The best I can figure is that art is culture and we - as gamers - want to be appreciated and appear cultured, so we have to get games labeled art somehow. It makes about sense as pounding a round peg in a square hole because everyone knows square pegs are the best and if we can only force our roundie to fit, it will prove that it's square and thus also good.

lacktheknack:

Gilhelmi:

lacktheknack:
snippity

Maybe you should try examining modern art on its own merits using yourself as a quality barometer, it helps you get over the snobs really quickly.

The inherent problem with art being subjective is that not everyone gets the memo, sadly.

(For proof, look at my avatar. Someone got into a fight with me once over whether or not it's art.)

I must ask, what is your avatar. I am fascinated by it but I can not figure it out.

It's the barracks scene from "Full Metal Jacket", except with doll faces stitched over it. And then it got corrupted when I saved it to my hard-drive. I should change it, I guess, but... I love this one. D:

Ragsnstitches:
Lack, that avatar has creeped me out for months.

You're welcome! :D

I lurked for a long time before I finally made an account, and your avatar consistently made my heart stop when I was scrolling down on the forums, yours and the weeping angel statue one from Doctor Who that other guy has.

Actually, after lurking for so long and seeing things you've written daily, finally talking to you directly feels kind of like talking to a celebrity. Johnny Novgorod befriended me today, and that also felt like making friends with a celebrity.

Am I strange?

AJey:
No they're not. Art is inherently subjective, with little to provide practically. Games or consoles are as close to being art as sports is.

"No, they aren't art, because art is subjective".

Uh.

"with little to provide practically."

Your head has got to be filled with so much cognitive dissonance right now.

DerangedHobo:
I also don't understand why games have to be considered art.

Mostly because art is way harder to censor than amusements. Government protection is always nice to have.

San Martin:
[quote="lacktheknack" post="7.820352.19798235"]I lurked for a long time before I finally made an account, and your avatar consistently made my heart stop when I was scrolling down on the forums, yours and the weeping angel statue one from Doctor Who that other guy has.

Actually, after lurking for so long and seeing things you've written daily, finally talking to you directly feels kind of like talking to a celebrity. Johnny Novgorod befriended me today, and that also felt like making friends with a celebrity.

Am I strange?

Maybe slightly. :P

After all, you're not a forum celebrity until you've hit 20,000 posts.

Soon... soon...

This is stupid. Putting aside the fact that art is subjective, displaying consoles means they're confusing the tools for the masterpiece. It's like putting a paintbrush on display, and forgetting the painting.

Besides, I wouldn't consider most of those games art. Maybe minecraft, if you really want to push the boundaries.

 

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