What Games Belong In the Smithsonian?

02.22.11 7 years ago

After years of forum flamewars, nerd fights, and attempts to be taken seriously, video games are finally getting their due as art, thanks to the Smithsonian. That’s the good news. The bad news? The Smithsonian is deciding using Internet voting! Why they’re begging 4Chan to nail them, and why Mexico has decided to solve its serious violence problems by banning a video game, here at Uproxx News.

First up, the Smithsonian is going to be opening a video games exhibition in March 2012. Focused on five different eras of video games, and finally offering a chance to put a crappy Smurf video game into a major museum, gamers get to choose 80 games out of 240 to put into the exhibit. Some of the choices are no-brainers: gee, you think “Super Mario Bros.” is one of the choices? Others are…a little odd. Some franchises got completely snubbed: there’s no “Katamari Damacy” or “Resident Evil”, which kind of stands out considering stuff like “BoomBlox” and a “He-Man” game from the Atari era made the list.

What were the criteria? Graphics, innovation, all the usual criteria for alleged art. Which still doesn’t explain a few of the choices on the list, but at least they were up front about it.

Still, it’s a deep, well-chosen list for the most part. On the other hand, we’re pretty sure that 4Chan is going to find this and vote up all the licensed games. We’re pretty sure that the infamous “E.T.” Atari game is going to be voted to the top by the nerds of Anonymous solely because it’ll make other nerds have massive, thousands-of-word inarticulate forum post hissy fits. On the other hand, at least video games are getting acknowledged as art in America, especially since we’ve got a bunch of idiotic video game bans up, including one in Mexico that we’re going to tell you about right now.

Cuidad Juarez is one of the worst cities in the world for drug-related violence. Nearly six thousand people died in the last two years alone. It’s a national tragedy and a world problem, not helped by a government that’s often too willing to look in the other direction, a police force that’s too often corrupt, and a populace that’s too often unable to fight back.

So the city of Cuidad Juarez has taken bold action against the drug cartels and other terrorists that are ruining their city. They’re banning a video game because it might warp the precious little minds of their children into thinking Cuidad Juarez is violent.

Cuidad Juarez, the city, admitted that their children have learned to duck and cover due to all the gunfights in the streets, and that they have a huge violence problem in the city that’s been going on for years. But it’s not those events that would make the children think blood, death and violence in the streets are absolutely normal, it’s Ubisoft’s “Call of Cuidad Juarez: The Cartel”.

So the state of Chihuahua asked for, and will probably get, a ban of the game. Which is great, and all, but maybe you should consider actually addressing your problems instead of whining about a video game, no matter how tasteless it is.


  • The Smithsonian finally settles the matter of whether or not video games are art. (Smithsonian)
  • Cuidad Juarez has demonstrated why they have a serious violence problem. (Yahoo!)



  • In animal news, a bunch of toads are going to make leaving a soccer match even more of a mess than usual. The German soccer team SC Freiburg happens to have its stadium near where a bunch of toads need to migrate. So, after their game against Wolfsburg, fans will be forced to take at least one less road when they try to leave for home. On the bright side, at least the toads will have an unobstructed commute for one. (Reuters)
  • Meanwhile, Sydney authorities have decided that being in Australia just hasn’t been strange enough, so they’re going to throw 22,000 bats out of their botanical gardens, where they were probably take roost all over the city and ready to surprise you by leaping out at the most inopportune moment ever. Hooray Australia! (Emirates24/7)



  • “E.T.” for Atari was developed in only six weeks, yet the pain and the stench of failure have lingered for nearly thirty years. (True Knowledge)
  • There are at least 20,000 abandoned houses in Cuidad Juarez, but unlike Detroit, there’s not going to be any artist colonies opening there any time soon. (Miami Herald)


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