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Phoenix Art Museum hosting video game exhibit

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Art Museum is getting a little louder this summer with the addition of “The Art of Video Games” exhibit.

The sounds of victory and defeat echoed through the halls as visitors tested their hand at a range of games both old and new.

“This is the loudest exhibition we’ve done with the ‘pings’ and ‘boings,'” said museum director Jim Ballinger.

The exhibit takes visitors through the evolution of video game technology, from the ever-popular 1980s game Pac-Man to a modern game Ballinger described as elegant.

“In the most recent era there’s this beautiful game called ‘Flowers’ that almost looks like it’s done by painters,” he said, adding that the game asks the player to take the position of a flower petal and manipulate it through the landscape.

Ballinger is excited that the exhibit is bringing in a new generation of visitors. He said a large chunk of the crowd is “gamers,” people who would be defined as video game enthusiasts.

But Ballinger hopes to attract more than just the “gamer” crowd.

“I think for people who are not gamers…it’s something for anyone who’s kind of curious, it gives them an opportunity to make up their own mind about the role of video games,” he said.

Author Chris Melissinos based the exhibit on a book he wrote detailing the history of video games. He is scheduled to speak Saturday.

The exhibit is in Phoenix until Sept. 29.