SimCity 2000. 1994. Will Wright for Maxis, now part of Electronic Arts, Inc
Are video games art? The Museum of Modern Art in New York City thinks so! The venerable institution has acquired 14 video games for its permanent design collection, including beloved icons like Pac-Man and Tetris, as well as our (obvious) favorite SimCity 2000! The urban-planning game allows you to create your own metropolis from the ground up, from building residential towers, roads, and power plants to navigating pesky zoning laws -- and definitely represents the kind of engaging design that MoMA champions.
Pac-Man. 1980. Tōru Iwatani of NAMCO LIMITED, now NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc.
SimCity and the other 13 games to join the collection are just the first of a wish list of 40 electronic entertainments the museum hopes to acquire in the near future (like Pong, Super Mario Bros., and Donkey Kong). "The games are selected as outstanding examples of interaction design, writes curator -- and A+ juror -- Paola Antonelli on MoMA's website, "a field that MoMA has already explored and collected extensively, and one of the most important and oft-discussed expressions of contemporary design creativity."
The video games will be on display at the museum’s Philip Johnson Galleries in March 2013. For a list of all 14 acquisitions, and for more information, check out the MoMA blog.