The Art of Video Games Exhibition Winners

By Kyle Durant

May 6, 2011

History has been made. The Smithsonian Art Museum will display art in the form of video games from March 16, 2012 through September 30, 2012. Earlier this year you, the gamer, were tasked with voting which video games would appear in this exhibition between five eras of gaming over at Just yesterday the winners were revealed and I believe I can say each one deserved its victory. Please keep in mind that the winners were chosen as an artistic medium based on visual effects, creative use of technologies, and features most influential artists/designers. Jump past the break to view games that have earned their place in history.

Era 1 (the start of it all)

System – Atari VCS

Action- Pac-Man (1981)
Adventure- Pitfall! (1982)
Target- Space Invaders (1980)
Combat/Strategy- Combat (1977)

System – ColecoVision

Action- Donkey Kong (1982)
Adventure- Pitfall II: Lost Caverns (1984)
Target- Zaxxon (1982)
Combat/Strategy- Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator (1983/1984)

System – Mattel Intellivision

Action- TRON: Maze-Atron (1982)
Adventure- Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (1982)
Target- Star Strike (1981)
Combat/Strategy- Utopia (1981)

Era 2 (8-Bit)

System – Commodore 64

Action- Jumpman (1983)
Adventure- The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate (1988)
Target- Attack of the Mutant Camels (1983)
Combat/Strategy- Sid Meier’s Pirates! (1987)

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System – Nintendo Entertainment System

Action- Super Mario Brothers 3 (1988/1990)
Adventure- The Legend of Zelda (1986/1987)
Target- 1943: The Battle of Midway (1988)
Combat/Strategy- Desert Commander (1989)

System – SEGA Master System

Action- Marble Madness (1992)
Adventure- Phantasy Star (1987)
Target- After Burner (1988)
Combat/Strategy- Spy vs Spy (1984/1986)

Era 3 (Bitwars!)

System – SEGA Genesis

Action- Earthworm Jim (1994)
Adventure- Phantasy Star IV (1993)
Target- Gunstar Heroes (1993)
Combat/Strategy- Dune II: Battle for Arrakis (1994)

System – Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Action- Super Mario World (1991)
Adventure- The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past (1991)
Target- Star Fox (1993)
Combat/Strategy- SimCity (1989/1991)

Era 4 (Transition)

System – DOS/Windows

Action- DOOM II (1994)
Adventure- Fallout (1997)
Target- Diablo II (2000)
Combat/Strategy- StarCraft (1998)

System – Nintendo 64

Action- Super Mario 64 (1996)
Adventure- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
Target- Goldeneye 007 (1997)
Combat/Strategy- Worms Armageddon (1999/2000)

System – SEGA Dreamcast

Action- Sonic Adventure (1998/1999)
Adventure- Shenmue (2000)
Target- Rez (2001)
Combat/Strategy- ChuChu Rocket! (1999)

System – SEGA Saturn

Action- Tomb Raider (1996)
Adventure- Panzer Dragoon Saga (1998)
Target- Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei (1996)
Combat/Strategy- SimCity 2000 (1995)

System – Sony PlayStation

Action- Metal Gear Solid (1998)
Adventure- Final Fantasy VII (1997)
Target- Einhander (1998)
Combat/Strategy- Final Fantasy Tactics (1998)

Era 5 (Next Generation)

System – Microsoft Xbox

Action- Halo 2
Adventure- Fable
Target- Panzer Dragoon Orta
Combat/Strategy- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell

System – Microsoft Xbox 360

Action- Bioshock
Adventure- Mass Effect 2
Target- Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
Combat/Strategy- Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II

System – Modern Windows

Action- Portal
Adventure- Fallout 3
Target- flOw
Combat/Strategy- Minecraft

System – Nintendo GameCube

Action- Metroid Prime 2: Echos
Adventure- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Target- Star Fox: Assault
Combat/Strategy- Pikmin 2

System – Nintendo Wii

Action- Super Mario Galaxy 2
Adventure- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Target- Boom Blox
Combat/Strategy- Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure

System – PlayStation 2

Action- Shadow of the Colossus
Adventure- Okami
Target- Gradius V
Combat/Strategy- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

System – Sony PlayStation 3

Action- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Adventure- Heavy Rain
Target- Flower
Combat/Strategy- Brutal Legend

Additional Games (these were not part of the public voting process)

Era 1: Pac-Man
Era 2: Super Mario Brothers
Era 3: The Secret of Monkey Island
Era 4: Myst
Era 5: World of Warcraft

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Kyle Durant

Pretty much your above average gamer who plays games profusely and appreciates them even more. Been gaming since the NES but is in love with anything PlayStation. No I am not a typical fanboy...I appreciate each system for their strengths and recognize their weaknesses. I just love the PS brand. (Think along the lines as someone who likes to read but loves one author in particular). Ever since my time as #2 in the world at Resistance 2, I have taken video games much more seriously. Don't get me wrong, I am a laid back, fun guy to game with...but I always play to win.

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