The Smithsonian Museum Selects The Most Important Video Games of All Time

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So, did they get it right?

The famous Smithsonian American Art Museum will showcase "The Art of Video Games" (take that, Roger Ebert!) from March 16, 2010 through September 30, 2012. It will "explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistartistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects, the creative use of new technologies, and the most influential artists and designers".

Through the website, participants voted in a two-month period for 80 games divided by era, game type, and platform. The following are the winning games and the rest that have been snubbed.

I think they completely forgot about the arcade, simulation, sports, rhythm, survival/horror, and fighting genres. And their stringent genres to Action, Adventure, Target, and Combat/Strategy cuts out some of the nominees unfairly and unnecessarily. Some of the games in the Target lose their relevance by Era 3. (Why is Psychonauts in the Action category? What not include Call of Duty anyway? DDR? Grand Theft Auto? Street Fighter? Mortal Kombat?)

Era 1: Start!

Atari VCS – Pac-Man (Action), Pitfall! (Adventure), Space Invaders (Target), Combat (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected: Haunted House, Tunnel Runner, Adventure, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Missile Command, Yars' Revenge, Star Raiders, Video Chess.

ColecoVision – Donkey Kong (Action), Pitfall II: Lost Caverns (Adventure), Zaxxon (Target), Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected: Jungle Hunt, Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle, Alcazar: The Forgotten Fortress, Gateway to Apshai, Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom, Carnival, Artillery Duel, Evolution

Mattel Intellivision – TRON: Maze-Atron (Action), Advanced Dungeons and Drdagons (Adventure), Star Strike (Target), Utopia (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected: Microsurgeon, Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man, Thunder Castle, Swords and Serpents, Space Battle, Demon Attack, Armor Battle, B-17 Bomber

Special Pick: Pac-Man (arcade)

Era 2: 8-Bit

Commodore 64 – Jumpman (Action), The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate (Adventure), Attack of the Mutant Camels (Target), Sid Meier's Pirates! (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected: Boulder Dash, Impossible Mission, Wasteland, Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, Raid on Bungeling Bay, Paradroid, Little Computer People, M.U.L.E.

Nintendo Entertainment System – Super Mario Brothers 3 (Action), The Legend of Zelda (Adventure), 1943: The Battle of Midway (Target), Desert Commander (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected: Metroid, Mega Man 2, Final Fantasy, Shadowgate, Top Gun, Life Force, North and South, Archon: The Light and Dark

SEGA Master System – Marble Madness (Action), Phantasy Star (Adventure), After Burner (Target), Spy vs Spy (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected: Shinobi, Mickey Mouse in the Land of Illusion, Ultima IV: Quest for the Avatar, Heroes of the Lance, Fantasy Zone, Missile Defense 3D

Special Pick: Super Mario Brothers

Era 3: Bitwars!

SEGA Genesis – Earthworm Jim (Action), Phantasy Star IV (Adventure), Gunstar Heroes (Target), Dune II: Battle for Arrakis (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected: Sonic CD, Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, Flashback: The Quest for Identity, Shining Force 2, Ranger X, Viewpoing, Nobunaga's Ambition, Herzog Zwei

Super Nintendo Entertainment System – Super Mario World (Action), The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past (Adventure), Star Fox (Target), SimCity (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected: Donkey Kong Country, Super Star Wars, Chrono Trigger, EarthBound, Gradius III, Super SmashTV, Act Raiser, Syndicate

Special Pick: The Secret of Monkey Island

Era 4: Transition

DOS/Windows – Doom II (Action), Fallout (Adventure), Diablo II (Target), StarCraft (Combat)

     Rejected: Deus Ex, Unreal, Baldur's Gate II: Shadow of Amn, Grim Fandango, Star Wars: TIE Fighter, Crimson Skies, Command and Conquer, Uplink: Hacker Elite

Nintendo 64 – Super Mario 64 (Action), The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Adventure), Goldeneye 007 (Target), Worms Armageddon (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected: Banjo-Kazooie, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Masks, Paper Mario, Star Fox 64, Pilotwings 64, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber

SEGA Dreamcast – Sonic Adventure (Action), Shenmue (Adventure), Rez (Target), ChuChu Rocket! (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected: Crazy Taxi, Jet Grind Radio, Phantasy Star Online, Skies of Arcadia, The Typing of the Dead, Toy Commander, Rhapsody of Zephyr (The War of Genesis), Panzer Front

SEGA Saturn – Tomb Raider (Action), Panzer Dragoon Saga (Adventure), Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei (Target), SimCity 2000 (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected – NiGHTS into Dreams…, Clockwork Night, Blazing Dragons, Dark Savior, Black Fire, Wing Arms, Command and Conquer, Blazing Heroes

Sony PlayStation – Metal Gear Solid (Action), Final Fantasy VII (Adventure), Einhander (Target), Final Fantasy Tactics (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected: Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Crash Bandicoot, Warped, Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete, Grandia, Colony Wars III: Red Sun, Point Blank, Command and Conquer: Red Alert, Carnage Heart

Special Pick: Myst

Era 5: Next Generation

Microsoft XBox – Halo 2 (Action), Fable (Adventure), Panzer Dragoon Orta (Target), Combat/Strategy (Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell)

     Rejected – Psychonauts, JSRF: Jet Set Radio Future, Indigo Prophecy, Shenmue II, Sniper Elite: Berlin 1945, Xyanide, Sid Meier's Pirates!, Steel Battalion

Microsoft XBox 360 – Bioshock (Action), Mass Effect 2 (Adventure), Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 (Target), Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected – Halo 3, Gears of War 2, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Limbo, Ikaruga, Assault Heroes 2, Halo Wars, Darwinia+

Modern Windows – Portal (Action), Fallout 3 (Adventure), flOw (Target), Minecraft (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected – Half-Life 2, Call of Duty: World at War, World of Warcraft, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Shatter, Everyday Shooter, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Age of Empires 3

Nintendo GameCube – Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (Action), The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Adventure), Star Fox: Assault (Target), Pikmin 2 (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, Tales of Symphonia, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, Alien Hominid, P.N.03, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Battalion Wars

Nintendo Wii – Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Action), The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Adventure), Boom Blox (Target), Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected – Metroid Prime Trilogy, Disney Epic Mickey, Super Paper Mario, Monster Hunter Tri, Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy, Little King's Story, Battalion Wars 2

Sony PlayStation 2 – Shadow of the Colossus (Action), Okami (Adventure), Gradius V (Target), Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected – God of War, Tony Hawk's Underground 2, Kingdom Hearts II, Final Fantasy X, Silpheed: The Lost Planet, Espgaluda, Armored Core 3, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown

Sony PlayStation 3 – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Action), Heavy Rain (Adventure), flower (Target), Brutal Legend (Combat/Strategy)

     Rejected – LittleBigPlanet 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Dragon Age: Origins, Final Fantasy XIII, Super Stardust HD, PixelJunk Shooter, Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 – Commander's Challenge

Special Pick: World of Warcraft


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