The collection of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) includes video games as examples of interaction design. We have selected game titles from MoMA’s collection, which are beloved by many and are enduring digital design innovations. We hope you enjoy the playful UT designs that blend elements representing MoMA within each game’s world.
In the modern world, digital interactivity is both inevitable and essential: we depend on an interconnected web of hardware and software for information, to communicate with each other, enjoy entertainment, and of course, play. Since the advent of the digital era, gaming has been part of the equation and continues to be an essential vehicle for human connection.
But do video games belong in a Museum collection? The Museum of Modern Art (New York) answered this question when it began formally collecting this seminal new category of interactive design with a landmark acquisition of 14 video games in 2012. This was the seed for MoMA’s current exhibition Never Alone: Video Games and Other Interactive Design (September 10, 2022 – July 16, 2023) showcasing these innovative and ever-relevant works. The exhibition invites visitors to learn about and experience interactive design from different perspectives—that of designers, users, and players—and also, to play some of these historic games in person.
Uniqlo, who is proud to be a sponsor of the exhibition and a longtime partner of the Museum, worked with MoMA to envision a brand new collection of t-shirts inspired by the exhibition.
One of the most recognized video games in the world is the arcade and video game Pac-Man, in which a round yellow character eats up all the dots on a maze while avoiding colorful ghosts. The pattern featured on the black of this t-shirt reflects Pac-Man’s familiar screen.
Since its release in 1978, Space Invaders has gained popularity not only in Japan, but throughout the global gaming market. The back print of this T-shirt expresses the player’s exhilaration of defeating wave after wave of descending aliens to earn as many points as possible.
Who hasn’t played Tetris at some point in their lives? This essential game attracts people across ages and geographies to play with the universally engaging puzzle concept. The print on the back of this t-shirt utilizes the game’s puzzle architecture to cleverly spell out MoMA, expressing a sense of playfulness inherent to the game design.
By assuming a mayoral role, the iconic SimCity 2000 game allows players to design beautifully complex city landscapes while thinking about social strategies and urban planning. First released in 1989, SimCity 2000 is still considered the gold standard of open-ended city-building and urban simulation game. If you look closely at this t-shirt, you might spy some fun easter eggs like the MoMA building.
Another puzzle game, this time in the surreal action sphere, Katamari Damacy (Clump Spirit) follows a prince tasked with rebuilding a number of celestial bodies destroyed by the King of All Cosmos. This is achieved in the game by rolling found objects into a magical adhesive ball called the Katamari, a pattern that is brilliantly repeated on this t-shirt with the MoMA letters and other iconic New York-centric motifs.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)｜Founded in 1929 by three progressive women under an educational charter, The Museum of Modern Art connects people from around the world to the art of our time. MoMA aspires to be a catalyst for experimentation, learning, and creativity, a gathering place for all, and a home for artists and their ideas. MoMA realizes its mission by establishing, caring for, and presenting a dynamic collection of the highest order that reflects the vitality and complexity of modern and contemporary art; by welcoming millions of people every year to explore its exhibitions and participate in onsite and online programs; by sustaining a library, archives, and conservation laboratory that are recognized as international centers of research; and by supporting innovative scholarship and publications.
Check out our LIVE STATION program with From MoMA’s Video Game
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