When video games finally win widespread recognition as a major art form, some of the credit will surely go to Chris Melissinos. Chris, a guest speaker at Philadelphia’s Gaming Expo, is the man who created the largest-ever exhibition on “The Art of Video Games” for the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
“Video games are a medium that incorporate all forms of art: illustration, sculpture, music, narrative, character, culture, everything,” said Melissinos, a Queens native whose exhibition drew near-record crowds in Washington before starting a nationwide tour that just landed at The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers. (Feb 15-May 18)
As Verizon’s Director of Corporate Strategy for Media and Entertainment, Chris tracks new technology, picks the coolest stuff and develops the plans for bringing it to Verizon’s customers.
“Given my experience with and passion for video games, you can bet they will examining their role in Verizon’s future media strategy,” said Melissinos, who began programming at 9 and completed his first game when he was 12. “Verizon provides an amazing set of platforms, from mobile to cloud, upon which video games can be delivered and enjoyed.”
Such efforts to shape gaming’s future come just as many Americans are enjoying the efforts Chris made to chronicle its past.
He first got the idea for a gaming retrospective 9 years ago. He and a friend came across a treasure trove of gaming memorabilia, systems, accessories and more than 6,000 games. Chris remembers marveling for several hours at his friend’s time capsule, and then the idea struck him.
“These,” he thought, like Indiana Jones before him, “belong in a museum.”
It took Chris 7 years to make his idea a reality, but the reception vindicated the effort. The Art of Video Games drew 680,000 visitors in its 6 months at the American Art Museum, second in the museum’s history.
The family-friendly exhibition features 20 gaming systems spanning 40 years, each equipped to demonstrate 4 artistically important games. Visitors can also play five of the pivotal titles in game history: Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and Flower.
“Video games, at their core, are about connection,” Chris explained, “connecting players to the artist and other players. Verizon, at its core, is also about connection, connecting customers to the people and things who matter most to them.”
RSVP to see Chris speak at Tech in Motion’s Gaming Expo in Philadelphia on October, 16th, along with some awesome demos from ten Philadelphia-area gaming studies and video-game inspired anthems from Dj CUTMAN.
This post was adapted from the original article “Pac-Man a Museum Piece?” at Verizon.com. Read the full story at Verizon.com.