I hope the games are playable...what better way to cement the idea that gamess are art in the mind of kids who may see art initially as just paintings and Greek sculpture?
Different keyboard shortcuts for different types of buildings, that really aren't all that different. No easy way to manage your dwarves, or get vital statistics. I still have no idea how to actually get the little guys to get out there and beat something with a sword. I couldn't figure out how to trade with the damn caravan until I googled for it.
Aren't there any people out there as monomaniacally dedicated to crafting good UIs as whats-his-face is dedicated to building this huge world simulator?
I agree with you that the default interface is pretty miserable, but it has it's own charm in some way. Dwarves become much more manageable with the DwarfTherapist app. It acts as a usable interface extension for me. http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=66525.0
And unfortunately, Therapist isn't available for mac, and I'm not willing to install a VM just to play it :/
"As with their film collection, MoMA aims to obtain the games in their original format—as well as acquiring the source code."
Also, even if the NES Zapper worked only on luminosity deltas, it could work on other types of displays -- but the response time (lag) of the display would have to be frame-accurate in order to detect the hit in time before the software moves on. (Software could compensate for lag, of course, but actual NES games don't.)
I never in a million years would have guessed they'd choose Vib Ribbon, but it totally deserves it.
As an artist, and a person who really appreciates the context of Art History as it relates to war/political history, this is good news. Video games are a cultural phenomenon that deserve to be in the art discussion, similar to how it took a while for hip hop to earn merit in the music discussion, even though its proponents knew it was art from the get-go.
It is, to my knowledge, the only dedicated videogame museum in America. This MOMA thing was interesting because we've been designing an exhibit about visual artistry in gaming, and we're going to be showing some of the same games as the MOMA, all playable.
It was reassuring to see the MOMA picked some of the same games we did, because it proved to us that we were at least as competent as MOMA. It's been a difficult road to build this museum, and we were excited to see we weren't going in the wrong direction.
Our visual arts exhibit, Games you can Frame will be on display starting December 17, and at GDC next year.
Then again, in increasing order of bafflement: Canabalt (fun and beautiful, but not sure if it's world-class-museum-quality), Animal Crossing, and Passage (what the hell??).
If you go to the MoMA today, you'll see at least three or four "paintings" which are basically blank. There's even an entire wall devoted to the absence of any art...more of a made-you-look kind of thing...which was even less than the entire wall I once saw devoted to a yogurt cup...
So when video games that are e equivalent of a "blank wall" show up, then games will have definitely broken into the art scene.
And no, ET doesn't count because it wasn't intended to be a steaming pile of shot...allegedly...
By a similar token, a box containing a blank white board and a single six-sided die does not instantly attain the status of a board game. And even though it is, perhaps, art--and fully something I'd expect to see in a board game exhibit in a museum of modern art--I wouldn't begrudge board game enthusiasts (of which I know many) if they grumbled at how such a "useless" exhibit was soaking up attention that could have been devoted to a game that was more substantial, more influential, and more representative of what board games really are.
But at the end of the day we're still just disagreeing over the definition of "art", which is perhaps the least constructive argument that has ever taken place in the history of humanity. :)
Animal Crossing does seem odd though, specially considering The Sims is already there. Seems redundant at best.
And now that Canabalt's been selected for the MoMA's permanent collection, it will be forever impossible to determine whether the game was remembered because of its own staying power, or just because the MoMA told us that we ought to remember it.
Isn't that the case with all contemporary art acquisitions, though? I'm reminded of this quote by Dave Hickey from Air Guitar:
"Since there is no absolute authority in the art world, or in the economic world either, we may presume that for every opinion, there is a contrary one. Thus, the social value of a work of art, or an art critic, or a theory, or an institution must be distinguished from its social virtue, since bad reviews, stupid acquisitions, and theoretical attacks, even as they question the social virtue of an object or investment, must necessarily invest it with social value. The raw investment of attention, positive or negative, qualifies certain works of art as “players” in the discourse. So, even though it may appear to you that nearly everyone hates Jeff Koons’ work, the critical point is that people take the time and effort to hate it, publicly and at length, and this investment of attention effectively endows Koons’ work with more importance than the work of those artists whose work we like, but not enough to get excited about."
I mean, give it time or ignore it, or both. All museums make questionable purchases. Being in the permanent collection is certainly a boon, but it won't change how people fundamentally feel about the art in a few generations. Maybe it'll remain successful, maybe it won't, but it certainly captures something which i guess is reason enough to acquire it.
On the other hand, DCSS is the pinnacle of roguelike usability. The devs strive to make the game "fair"--which is to say, a death is (99.9% of the time) your fault, and not just bad luck. So no instadeaths, no save-or-die effects, and spoilers should be largely unnecessary (that's the philosophy, at least...). They also hold annual usability studies and incorporate that feedback into the game. As a result, it's a game that's both very approachable and very deep. I highly recommend it if you're a fan of roguelikes.
"some of the games we have acquired (for instance Dwarf Fortress and EVE Online) take years and millions of people to manifest fully. To convey their experience, we will work with players and designers to create guided tours of these alternate worlds, so the visitor can begin to appreciate the extent and possibilities of the complex gameplay."
(Dwarf Fortress is clearly more about the "years" than the "millions of people", mind you.)
Their "wish list" includes many more Japanese games, like Donkey Kong, 2 Super Mario Bros. games, The Legend of Zelda, Street Fighter II, Chrono Trigger and Animal Crossing.