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.