If you’re going to be in Washington, D.C. between March 16 and Sept. 30 you might want to visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s “The Art of Video Games,” an exhibit that explores 40 years of video game history and its evolution as an artistic medium.

“Video games are a prevalent and increasingly expressive medium within modern society,”

said the exhibition’s guest curator, Chris Melissinos. “In the 40 years since the introduction of the first home video game, the field has attracted exceptional artistic talent. Video games, which include classic components of art, offer designers a previously unprecedented method of communicating with and engaging audiences by including a new element, the player, who completes the vivid, experiential art form by personally interacting with the game elements.”

The exhibition focuses on the relationship between graphics, technology, and storytelling in 80 different video games for 20 gaming systems, ranging from the vintage Atari VCS to the PlayStation 3.

The games are presented through still images and video footage. In addition, the galleries will include video interviews with developers and artists, historic game consoles and large prints of in-game screenshots.

Five featured games – one from each era – will also be playable: Pac-Man, Super mario Bros., The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and Flower.

The exhibition will also go on tour to various other cities in the U.S. from late 2012 to 2015. Confirmed venues include:

  • Boca Raton Museum of Art in Boca Raton, Fla. (Oct. 24 – Jan. 20, 2013);
  • EMP Museum in Seattle (Feb. 16, 2013 – May 13, 2013);
  • Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, N.Y. (Feb. 15, 2014 – May 18, 2014);
  • Flint Institute of Arts in Flint, Mich. (Oct. 25, 2014 – Jan. 18, 2015);
  • Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis, Tenn. (June 6, 2015 – Sept. 13, 2015)

More information about the exhibit will become available on the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s website.