The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect - book and Smithsonian exhibition


16 Responses to “The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect - book and Smithsonian exhibition”

  1. I hate bad pixel art. What the heck is going on with the cover there, with Blinky’s eye in particular? Maybe part of some new version of Pac-Man with variable-sized pixels that don’t all live on the same grid?

    • What about the blaring misaligned part at the lower left?!

      EDIT: actually, I think Blinky is just staring at that weird-as-heck “pixel” font there…

      Kind of reminds me of the full-screen promo art for old shovelware titles that were drawn over in Paintbrush or whatever

    • JPhilipp says:

      When you click through to Amazon, you’ll notice that the actual cover shown there is grid-aligned (and uses partially other colors).

      There’s also an “Item Under Review” message there, “because customers have told us there may be something wrong with our inventory of the item, the way we are shipping it, or the way it’s described here”.

  2. Ian G says:

    Local Boy Scored a spot in video game history.

  3. (required) says:

    Please explain how this is a “A major new book”  – I mean anyone can say that but a bit of proof would be good.
    Does it mean it has got lots of pages or the content has proven the test of time and is considered important?

    • wizardru says:

      It is an art book published by the Smithsonian’s Museum of American Art, effectively the national museum of art for the country.  They are officially recognizing video games as an art-form….that strikes me as pretty major.

      Exactly what qualification were you looking for?

  4. Lars Willen says:

    What? MSDOS -Gorilla omitted? Angry Birds glorious ancestor!

  5. medontlivenoprahsworld says:

    Wow, haters gonna hate. Use your energy to write your own book or organize your own exhibition.

  6. Matt Toler says:

    Awful, student-grade design in a “major art book.” Not everything has to be Chip Kidd, but we need some standards. 

    • spencerrrrrrrrrr says:

       The spreads aren’t horrible, but the cover was rage inducing…

      I’m a more traditional artist enrolled in an MFA program that is focused on arts and technology (i.e. videogames, animation, etc.). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost ragequit over a so called “MFA” (MASTER of Fine ARTS) explicitly state something along the lines of “I don’t know much about art” or “I don’t really know ‘design principles’, but…”.

      It drives me crazy that there is this passion or drive to push videogames into the realm of fine art while there is a simultaneous blatant disregard for art/aesthetics/design.

  7. Sara Blount says:

    Went to this exhibit yesterday and wound up staying the entire day!  They had a lot of different FREE events including a live action video game, a string quartet playing video game music and a screening of King of Kong: Fist Full of Quarters.  Billy Mitchell, Walter Day and Steve Sanders were there as well. 

    The exhibit is nice, but you have to go in realizing that this is more about the progression of the art with improving technology rather than the game play.  The book enhances the experience because you get interviews with game developers, artists and composers.  I personally thought it was very well done and Chris and Patrick are so enthusiastic about this project.  I was lucky enough to meet them yesterday and they took time to answer questions and sign my book.  A lot of effort went into this!

    The book at the very least makes for a great coffee table book that will start great discussions and bring back lots of memories. 

  8. meg gandy says:

    was there on saturday, didn’t stay long. i think i was expecting more on how the games are made–you know, more on the music, more concept art, etc etc. the only think i really found interesting was how it felt to look at pieces of my childhood re-contextualized behind plexiglass, as an actual museum exhibit.

    someone told me they had designed the exhibit with people who aren’t gamers in mind. i’m not sure i believe that. it felt more masturbatory, especially with the sort of stuff they were selling in the giftshop. they had a museum copy of this book in the last room, and i flipped through it. book and exhibit were both sort of underwhelming. i’m not saying it’s bad, and it may be that i just don’t “get it.” but i clearly wasn’t the target audience, and i love both museums and video games.

    • wizardru says:

      I don’t think you were going to get that kind of exhibit in an art museum.  Possibly in a history museum or a technology museum, but this was about the art, afaict.

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