MoMA Acquires 14 Video Games for Architecture and Design Collection

by Daniel Haim

Tetris. Alexei Pajitonov (Russian, born 1955). 1984. Video game. Gift of The Tetris Company, LLC. © 2012 The Tetris Company, LLC.

The Museum of Modern Art has acquired a selection of 14 video games, the seedbed for an initial wish list of about 40 to be acquired in the near future, as well as for a new category of artworks in MoMA’s collection that will grow in the future. This initial group of video games, which will be installed in the Museum’s Philip Johnson Galleries in March 2013, features:

Pacman (1980), Tetris (1984), Another World (1991), Myst (1993), SimCity 2000 (1994), Vib-Ribbon (1999), The Sims (2000), Katamari Damacy (2004), EVE Online (2003), Dwarf Fortress (2006), Portal (2007), flOw (2006), Passage (2008), Canabalt (2009).

The games were selected as outstanding examples of interaction design a field that MoMA has already explored and collected extensively, and one of the most important and oft – discussed expressions of contemporary design creativity. Criteria for the s elections emphasize not only the visual quality and aesthetic experience of each game, but also the many other aspects — from the elegance of the code to the design of the player’s behavior — that pertain to interaction design. This acquisition allows the Muse um to study, preserve, and exhibit video games as part of its Architecture and Design collection.