Saturday, April 7, 2012

Precursor to Games as Art: Smithsonian Moongate Garden

I was on my way to the actual next exhibit that I was going to cover, when I came across the Moongate Garden. While the Smithsonian tells us that it "draws design inspiration from the Temple of Heaven, a 15th-century religious complex in Beijing," I couldn't help but look at it. As you can tell by the nifty new feature available from Blogger, this is near the Sackler gallery.

Moongates mean one thing to the 15th-century religious complex, but it means something else entirely to me. I decided to stop and take some pictures. While you can see the majority of the pictures on my Google+ profile or Facebook profile, I've included my favorite image below.

This one goes to Jhelom.
Looking into the Moongate Garden. This one goes to Jhelom.
(Photo by Matt Sablan)

Now, it is probably pretty obvious what exhibit I was on my way to in D.C., and I do have pictures to show you from there. Video games, for me, have always been a chance to try and learn new things. To explore worlds; that's one of the reasons I loved Origin. Their tagline or motto was "We create worlds." Adventure games and role-playing games were ways I got to experience worlds that I could not live in. I am not a cop, but I played Police Quest. I'm not a king, but absence has made my heart go yonder. I am not a college-aged woman who is an artist, but I've done that too.

Because in most games, you get to be the hero. It is an amazing experience to be able to interact with larger-than life characters; you get to reaffirm that in the end, good gets to win, even if it comes at great cost. You can lead armies to right wrongs (if that is your thing). Choices matter (usually), and you can get a feel for who you are by playing games and seeing how you react. You also get to pilot giant robots sometimes.

Obviously, I think video games are art. The question, I guess, is what does the Smithsonian think? Over the next week, I'll be posting:

1. My thoughts on the way to the exhibit.
2. A look at the interior of the exhibit
3. A slightly deeper answer on "Are video games art?"
4. After it is all done, two quick, short videos I made while on my way to the exhibit.

So, I guess, the question is, do most people feel like video games are art? And was this an abuse of links and too much a full on embracing of my nerdery? If you get lost, don't worry. Google is hip to the whole video game monologue I'll be giving over the next few days.



You may notice that some of the labels in previous posts are getting a cleaning. This is because I am a bad blogger and broke them in my initial use. I apologize. Also, if you want to know: "Matt, what are you playing, since video games are so nifty?" The answer is: Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (PSP), Devil Survivor 2 (DS) and Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS).

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