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Smithsonian: Video Games Are Art

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An original Atari video game system. (credit: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

An original Atari video game system. (credit: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — The Smithsonian American Art Museum has begun collecting video games for its permanent collection as part of an ongoing commitment to study and preserve such games as an artistic medium.

The museum announced this week that it acquired the 2009 game “Flower” by Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago and the 2010 game “Halo 2600″ by Ed Fries.

Museum director Elizabeth Broun says the best video games are a great expression of art and culture. The museum says the rapid evolution of technology and the reach of video games have created a new genre in media art.

The museum says it is acquiring works that explore the boundaries of video games as an art form. It plans to acquire additional video games in the future.

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