In this TED Talk, Paola Antonelli explains why, as the Museum of Modern Art’s senior curator of architecture and design, she identified 14 games to curate as part of the venerable New York City institution’s permanent collection. The goal is to integrate these games as perfect examples of “interactive design” – a particular section of the design collection.
Of particular interest is the selection criteria used in identifying the games: how we experience time, evolve or use the space, the aesthetics of the game and the design behavior. In addition, I was struck by the goal of preserving the original code of a game – that is seen as an essential element to preserve as part of a museum collection, not just copies of the game and other paraphernalia.
Actually, this is an interesting difference between museums and libraries. Libraries usually collect copies of works whereas museums focus on artefacts. The former are reproductions and the latter are originals (yes, I know sometimes libraries do have originals or artefacts, but they tend to be stuck in “special collections” because they are special). In that sense, the role of the institution is quite different when thinking about the institutional mission of preservation and access.