Pac-Man, Tetris Join MoMA Collection; Mario, Zelda Soon to Follow

Ready your joysticks and cheat codes, design fans, because the Museum of Modern Art has opened its collection to video games. The initial selection of 14, ranging from Pac-Man and Tetris to Passage and Canabalt, is “the seedbed for an initial wish list of about 40 to be acquired in the near future, as well as for a new category of artworks in MoMA’s collection that we hope will grow in the future,” wrote MoMA curator Paola Antontelli in a recent post on the museum’s blog.

The newly acquired games will be installed at the museum in March 2013. Among the titles that MoMA is looking to add are some classics–Pong, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros–and some wild cards (we didn’t see Marble Madness coming). Here’s hoping that Duck Hunt and Paperboy will eventually take their place alongside Pollocks and Picassos. So, does this mean that video games are art? “They sure are, but they are also design, and a design approach is what we chose for this new foray into this universe,” notes Antonelli. “The games are selected as outstanding examples of interaction design–a field that MoMA has already explored and collected extensively, and one of the most important and oft-discussed expressions of contemporary design creativity.”