… the curated assembly of games all come from corporations of varying size. The collection is not a celebration of video game art but of commercialized products.
On the way into the exhibit, one has to pass through a collection of work from Nam Jun Paik, including Megatron Matrix, a massive bank of smaller screens used to create the impression of a larger image passing over them, and Zen for TV, an old television screen that subverts one’s want for constant change with a single white line bisecting it. The transition from these works to Geometry Wars and Sonic the Hedgehog is nearly incomprehensible. And yet Paik’s work does not come from a separate world of high-brow art. He is sometimes associated with the Fluxus movement of artists whose work is influenced by the artistic traditions of games and rules.
In many ways the history of art is inextricable from games. Game pieces were among the first pieces of art created in human history, from the carved pieces in the Royal Game of Ur to the hollowed boards of Mancala. Before humans wrote novels and painted bowls of fruit, the impulse to create artifice was first expressed through play.