I'm on my way to bed (early-ass screening tomorrow - ugh!), but rest assured that I WILL have more to say when time avails itself about the ungodly, horrible way the Smithsonian is going about the "public voting" aspect of it's "Art of Videogames" exhibit. Don't get me wrong: The effort is appreciated, but everything from the selections to the categorizations on this thing are so wrongheaded, slapdash and uninformed as to make me honestly think it'd be better if they didn't do it at all.
For example: The voting (which seems to ignore Arcades ENTIRELY, btw) divides the history of the medium into five "eras," with options to vote for which of three games will be each console/eras "representative" title in each of four genres. Only FOUR? Yes: Action, Adventure, Target and Combat/Strategy. That's right: No platformer, no puzzle, no RPG - in the 8-bit/NES/Adventure category, it's Final Fantasy vs. Zelda vs. Shadowgate... and only ONE can "win."
This. Is. FUCKING. ASININE.
Where did they get this system? Did they just make it up without consulting anyone who knows thing-ONE about the medium? Gaming is young, but there's NO shortage of historians and credited experts out there who could've given them a better outline. This isn't a matter of nerd-nitpickery... obviously not every game can get in there... but trying to tell the "history" of the form and classifying Zelda and Final Fantasy as the same thing? That's like if I opened up a Bird Museum and added an Octopus on the basis that it has a BEAK.
I imagine others will want to weigh in on this, but instead of just griping along with me why not gripe directly to them instead: Here's the exhibit/voting's comment section.
And here's the email address associated with the page: AmericanArtGames@si.edu BE RESPECTFUL if you do write in, regardless of what you have to say. We gain nothing by being crass.