The independent National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which supports artists and arts organisations, will classify video games as an art form in fiscal 2012. Taxpayer funding, typically between $10,000 and $200,000, will be granted to a project next year.
The new NEA criteria have expanded The Arts in Media as a grant category, replacing Arts on Radio and Television.
The new category will cover “all available media platforms such as the Internet, interactive and mobile technologies, [and] digital games…”
Also in Washington, the American Art Museum (pictured), part of the federally-funded Smithsonian Museum, will display a new exhibit entitled The Art of Video Games until 30 September. Curators say the exhibit will explore the 40-year evolution of video games, stressing their powerful visual effects and creative new technologies.
Neither development should impact a current video game case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which questions whether video games constitute an art form that falls under First Amendment free speech protection. A decision should be released this summer.
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