This is as part of “an ongoing commitment to the study and preservation of video games as an artistic medium.”
Flower (2009), a game by Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago from thatgamecompany, is to be inducted into the collection alongside Halo 2600 (2010) by Ed Fries, the former vice president of game publishing at Microsoft.
Explaining its decision in a statement, the Smithsonian said: “Video games offer a compelling avant-garde performance space, activated by artists and players alike. These media art practices are distinct from film, video and theatre and mark a critical development in the history of art.
“The inclusion of video games furthers the mission of the museum and ensures the ongoing preservation, study and interpretation of video games as part of the national collection of American art.”
The addition of these games to one of the biggest museums in the world is a great step forward for the games industry. The world is starting to accept video games as art in much the same way films are considered art. We can only hope more follow the Smithsonian’s lead.
The Smithsonian added in its statement that it is looking to expand its collection of video in the future.