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access_time May 11, 2012 at 10:26 AM in Culture by Ramon Aranda

A Trip Down Memory Lane With ‘The Art of Video Games’

There’s no question that the video game industry, particularly the technology and art direction behind it have come a long way since the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972.  From the Atari 2600, to the NES, to the PlayStation 3, we’ve seen a huge jump in graphics, but one thing remains, video games continued to draw inspiration and artistic expression.

With the Smithsonian American Art Museum showing our industry some love with it’s the Art of Video Games exhibition, that has been running since March 16 and will continue to do so until September 30, Chris Melissinos and Patrick O’Rourke have put together a companion book by the same name, that gives gamers a history lesson of some of the industry’s most notable games from an artistic point of view.

While we’ve all come to know all the big blockbuster games throughout the years, the book gives us a wonderful look at some of these, along with other lesser known titles that for some reason or another, have left their imprint on gaming history.  You’ll see nods to games such as Pitfall, Mass Effect 2, The Legend of Zelda, Gunstar Heroes and even Star Strike, which includes a description of why these games had a big impact.

With over 100 images to look at, including forewords from some of the industry’s biggest names in both development and journalism, gamers get a crash course in artistic innovation that’s an absolute joy to read.  Even if art as a genre isn’t your thing, the book does a great job of tying art and video games together that offers up some interesting stories about motivation, inspiration and opportunities that you generally wouldn’t find elsewhere.

Simply put, The Art of Video Games is a must-read book for any video game fan out there, regardless of age or gaming knowledge.  At $40 for the 216-page hardcover book, you cannot pass it up.


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