We Love Arts

We Love Arts: The Art of Video Games

Photo courtesy of mosley.brian
We Love DC – Art of Video Games – 03-15-12 07
courtesy of mosley.brian

I promise, once you’re done reading this article, you’re going to want to dust off your Atari 2600, or NES, or PS1, or whatever was your first video game system, and play all the games you grew up with. That was my reaction, and I have the couple of hours I lost playing The Legend of Zelda last Saturday to prove it.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum opened their new exhibit, the Art of Video Games, with a big festival this past weekend. If you missed it, don’t worry; the real festival, the exhibit itself, is far from over, as it is going to be running until September 30th. Employing some impressive, and modern, multi-media tools, the museum has put together a truely engaging art exhibit of some very influencial, but generally overlooked, modern art. Namely, video games.  Continue reading

History, The Daily Feed

Smithsonian Snapshot: Pac-Man Telephone

Pac-Man Telephone, 1982; photo courtesy Smithsonian Institution

Reportedly inspired by a pizza with one slice removed, Pac-Man was developed by Tōru Iwatani, a programmer for the Japanese company Namco. His primary motivation was to develop a nonviolent game that would appeal to male and female players alike. Unlike previous hit video games like Pong and Space Invaders, Pac-Man had a recognizable main character that allowed it to be the first video game to also be a licensing success. Pac-Man is considered today to be one of the video game classics and an icon of the 1980s.

Recognized by 94% of American consumers, Pac-Man has the highest brand awareness of any video game character ever. The character itself appears in more than 30 officially licensed game spin-offs and countless unauthorized ones. During the early 1980s, Pac-Man was everywhere. It was the first video game to spawn a marketing phenomenon, including licensed books, clocks, radios, gumball banks, a Saturday-morning cartoon and gadgets like this Pac-Man telephone.

This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is not currently on display.

The Daily Feed

Video Game Art Chosen for Future Smithsonian Exhibit

Photo courtesy of
‘DC Meetups – 09-03-22 – Your Move’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

The Smithsonian American Art Museum invited the public to help select the video games that will be included in its upcoming exhibition “The Art of Video Games,” which opens in Washington, D.C., March 16, 2012. The exhibition is one of the first to explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies.

Voting took place between Feb. 14 and April 17 of this year. The website recorded more than 3.7 million votes from 119,000 people in 175 countries. A list of the winning 80 games across 20 gaming systems is available online and is organized by era, game type and platform. The 80 games will be displayed in the exhibition as screen shots and short video clips.

In addition to these 80 games, the exhibition will feature five games for visitors to play for a few minutes, to gain some feel for the interactivity—Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and World of Warcraft.

Entertainment, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Video Game Art Voting Extended!

Photo courtesy of
‘DC Meetups – 09-03-22 – Your Move’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

In response to public demand, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has extended the deadline for public voting for the video games to be featured in its upcoming exhibition, “The Art of Video Games.” The voting period, originally scheduled to end April 7, now will close at midnight, Sunday, April 17.

The website offers participants a chance to vote for 80 games from a pool of 240 proposed choices in various categories, divided by era, game type and platform. More than three million votes have been cast since the voting site launched Feb. 14. A valid e-mail address is required to vote.

The winning games will be announced publicly Thursday, May 5. Anyone who registered to vote will receive advance notification of the winning games, as well as monthly updates and special behind-the-scenes offers leading up to the exhibition opening in Washington, D.C. and throughout the run of the exhibition.

“The Art of Video Games” is the first to explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies. Chris Melissinos, founder of Past Pixels and collector of video games and gaming systems, is the curator of the exhibition. The exhibition will be on display at the museum from March 16, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2012; it then will travel to multiple venues in the United States.

The Daily Feed, We Love Arts

Have a Say in SAAM’s 2012 Art of Video Game Exhibition

Photo courtesy of
‘BrySi | Bryan Simon’
courtesy of ‘Joriel “Joz” Jimenez’

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is inviting the public to help select the video games that will be included in its upcoming exhibition “The Art of Video Games,” which opens in Washington, DC on March 16, 2012. Voting is taking place online beginning today and running through April 7. A valid e-mail address is the only requirement to vote.

The exhibition is the first to explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies. Chris Melissinos, founder of Past Pixels and collector of video games and gaming systems, is the curator of the exhibition.

The website offers participants a chance to vote for 80 games from a pool of 240 proposed choices in various categories, divided by era, game type, and platform; winning games will be displayed in the exhibition as screen shots and short video clips. The website includes an online forum where gaming enthusiasts can campaign for particular games and voice their opinions about the selections. The games on the voting site were selected for their graphic excellence, artistic intent, and innovative game design. Results will be available online in May. Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: Anamanaguchi @ Black Cat 1/9/11

IMG_6849
all photos by Michael Darpino

Late on a Sunday night, there’s a stark contrast between the cold, deserted DC streets and the cave of 8-bit fantasy I’ve emerged from. Anamanaguchi assaulted the packed Backstage at the Black Cat with strobe lights, pixellated animation, and their unique brand of electronic power-pop.

The last time I caught Anamanaguchi (for the 8-bit Alliance Tour last summer), the room wasn’t even at half capacity. However, the band has clearly gotten some buzz lately from their work on the soundtrack for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game. I found the Backstage nearly full when I arrived, which is a rarity for any Sunday night. The young, slightly geeky crowd was ready to rock out to video-game-inspired bleeps and bloops.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Open firearm carry in DC starts 11-10-09

ScreenShot037

a shot from the COD:MW2 trailer

Well, online anyway: the next iteration of Xbox game Call of Duty will be set, at least in part, in Washington DC. The most recent video trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 shows conflict scenes on the mall by the Washington Monument and on the south lawn of the White House.