The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect, is one of our favorite art books in the Curio book collection. It catalogues 80 popular video games featured in a 2012 exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, here in Washington, DC. Authors Chris Melissinos and Patrick O'Rourke explore the history of video games and the art that goes into creating them.
Even non-gamers can appreciate that video games are a multilayered artistic medium.They use all forms of art—from painting, writing and storytelling, to music. The visual evolution of video games is fascinating because of how the visuals have changed along with culture and advances in graphics and technology. And video games have real symbolic power and cultural relevance: Pac-Man for example, is a nostalgic reminder of childhood and the 1980s for many of us.
"In the 40 years since the first Magnavox Odyssey pixel winked on in 1972, the home video game industry has undergone a mind-blowing evolution. Fueled by unprecedented advances in technology, boundless imaginations, and an insatiable addiction to fantastic new worlds of play, the video game has gone supernova."