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MoMA Puts Video Games On Display

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A new exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art is another sign that video games are now being viewed as serious art. NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.

There's good news if you're a parent who thinks your kids play too many video games. It turns out they might just be really devoted art lovers.

Not buying it? Well, the Museum of Modern Art has become the latest high-profile museum, along with the Smithsonian, to acquire video games as part of its collection.

Fourteen games are being shown in an exhibit called Applied Designs.

"Interaction design is a very important part of our lives, and it's a form of design," says Paola Antonelli of the Museum of Modern Art. "When we go to the bank and take out money from the ATM machine, that's a form of interaction design. Some of it is good. Some of it is bad. It's the design of the behavior or the relationship between people and machines, and video games are a great way to really understand that rapport."

The museum staff says it looks at the games very similarly to how it looks at the the furniture that shares the exhibit space.

"Video games are a form of architecture," Antonelli says. "There's really a spacial savviness to them. The way they evolve through time is important, so time is another idea. Experience, the design of the experience. How do you feel when you're in the video game? The kind of behavior you come up with. Those are all the criteria that we use to judge these video games, together, with aesthetics of course

Folks at MoMA say getting video games in here was a learning process for them and a learning process for video game developers. But it's a learning process that will pave the way for future exhibits like this.

"Companies and designers are educating the museum about what it means to acquire code and to acquire a game, and we are educating the companies about what it means to be acquired by the museum, in terms of protection, in terms of preservation, in terms of being like a Fort Knox for art in the future," Antonelli says.

The video games will be on display until January, at which point, they may be swapped out for new ones.

MoMA says these 14 are just a slice of the 40 games it's targeted for acquisition.

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