OnQ Blog

The Art of Video Games: Beyond Pong… Way Beyond

Through Sept. 30, the Smithsonian American Art Museum is hosting “The Art of Video Games” exhibition, celebrating the artistry of video games past and present. 

Remember how simplistic video games used to be? Pong was essentially two vertical lines that players moved up and down as paddles while a dot bounced between them. The sequel? Pong Doubles, of course, made up of four vertical lines and that same bouncing dot.

Today’s games are more complex and realistic that ever. Game environments and computer-driven characters are injected with artificial intelligence. Action and scenery are optimized for HDTVs and mobile devices. Games are scripted, created and promoted like blockbuster movies, some even featuring complex back stories and imaginative “the making of” clips. Similar to film, animation and performance, video games have evolved into influential forms of narrative art.

“The Art of Video Games” features some of the most important artists and designers across five eras of game development, from early pioneers to contemporary designers. If you consider yourself a gamer, don’t miss it. Click on the image to see pictures of the exhibit.