Video games fans and the Smithsonian American Art Museum have something in common: an appreciation for art. The Smithsonian has announced that in 2012 it will display the exhibition: The Art of Video Games. The exhibit will no doubt delve deep into the history of video games, their 40-year evolution, and use of new technologies to produce such detailed visual effects. 

Until recently, video games have not been considered an art medium associated with high-brow art, or even low-brow for that matter. But if the Smithsonian, the authority on historic relics and ancient art forms, declares video games art worthy, then perhaps film critic Robert Ebert was incorrect in stating that video games can never be art.  

Despite what end of the spectrum a person ends up on in the art vs. video game debate, there are people who believe whole-heartedly that video games are works of art. Recognizing this to be true, the Smithsonian opened the competition up to the public to help select which games should be included in the exhibition. 

The voters chose from 240 video games selected by an advisory group consisting of developers, designers, industry innovators and journalists. Voting took place between February and April, with more than 3.7 million votes cast from 175 countries. 

From the 240 games only 80 were selected to appear in the 2012 exhibition. Included are Pac-Man, Atarti and ColecoVision, Super Mario, Earthworj Jim, Final Fantasy VII, and Okami. 

The exhibition will break the 40-year evolution into five eras, and each console's presentation is also divided into four categories: Action, Adventure, Target, and Combat/Strategy.

The Art of Video Games at the Smithsonian American Art Museum will open on March 16, 2010 and will be on display through September 30, 2012.