Video games become art as ACMI honours designers

RARELY are video games considered works of art.

More rarely are game designers considered artists.

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image is hoping to change that with a new interactive exhibition that focuses on the creative minds behind the medium's most iconic games.

Visitors to Game Masters, part of the Winter Masterpieces series, will be able to play 125 games from the medium's 40-year history, including arcade staples Pac-Man and Donkey Kong to more contemporary favourites such as Dance Central and Angry Birds.

It focuses on the work of 30 leading game designers from Japan, Europe, the US and Australia.

Curator Conrad Bodman, who launched ACMI's Game On retrospective in 2008, said the exhibition was an attempt to show the game designer as auteur.

''We know our great artists and our great film directors and actors, but the masters of the video game world are less well known,'' he said.

''We are only just getting to the point where individuals have had whole careers in the field so it's possible to now look back retrospectively at their work.''

ACMI is hoping to attract 180,000 visitors to the show.

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