Which video games are going in the Smithsonian?

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The Art of Video Games

A few months back the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., turned to gamers for help in choosing the video games to be featured in the Art of Video Games exhibit opening next year.

Now the results of the voting, which closed April 7, are in. Voters chose 80 games from a pool of 240 nominees in five different eras. And the winners, broken down by time period and gaming system, are:

Start! (1970s to early 1980s)

Atari VCS: Pac-Man, Pitfall, Space Invaders, Combat; ColecoVision: Donkey Kong, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, Zaxxon, Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator; Mattel Intellivision: TRON: Maze-Atron, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Star Strike, Utopia

8-Bit (early 1980s to early 1990s)

Commodore 64: Jumpman, The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate, Attack of the Mutant Camels, Sid Mieier’s Pirates!; Nintendo Entertainment System: Super Mario Brothers 3, The Legend of Zelda, 1943: The Battle of Midway, Desert Commander; SEGA Master System: Marble Madness, Phantasy Star, After Burner, Spy vs. Spy

Bit Wars! (early 1990s to mid-1990s)

SEGA Genesis: Earthworm Jim, Phantasy Star IV, Gunstar Heroes, Dune II: Battle for Arrakis; Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Star Fox, Sim City

Transition (mid-1990s to early 2000s)

DOS/Windows: DOOM II, Fallout, Diablo II, StarCraft; Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Goldeneye 007, Worms Armageddon; SEGA Dreamcast: Sonic Adventure, Shenmue, Rez, ChuChu Rocket!; SEGA Saturn: Tomb Raider, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei, SimCity 2000; Sony PlayStation: Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VII, Einhander, Final Fantasy Tactics

Next Generation (early 2000s to today)

Microsoft Xbox: Halo 2, Fable, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell; Xbox 360: Bioshock, Mass Effect 2, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-earth 2; modern Windows: Portal, Fallout 3, flOw, Minecraft; Nintendo GameCube: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Star Fox Assault, Pikmin 2; Nintendo Wii: Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Boom Blox, Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure; PlayStation 2: Shadow of the Colossus, Okami, Gradius V, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty; PlayStation 3: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Heavy Rain, Flower, Brutal Legend

Additional games that weren’t part of the public vote but will be available to play for a few minutes at the exhibit: Pac-Man (arcade, 1980), Super Mario Brothers (1985), The Secret of Monkey Island (1990), Myst (1993) and World of Warcraft (2004).

You can see a snapshot of each game as well as credits and the runners-up in this PDF from the Smithsonian.

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