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Genesis (music group)

Are video games art? They are at this show

Are video games art? They are at this show

Chris Melissinos is tempted to say his first dalliance with video games was Pong, that table-tennis look-alike for the original Atari 2600. He’s tempted, but he’ll go with the time he designed his own virtual world at age 12, dubbed Space Debris, featuring a pilot who collected medical supplies while barreling through an asteroid field en route to a space station.

Melissinos never stopped programming, leveraging himself a position as Chief Gaming Officer for Java developer Sun Microsystems, until a chance meeting with a Smithsonian curator set off a new project: carving out an exhibition wrapped around video games, from Atari’s Missile Command to the 8-bit playground of Nintendo’s...