SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – Video games may not be regarded as by the general public as art, but that view may be about to change. The National Endowment for the Arts announced that it will make funding available for the creation of video games beginning next year.

Also, next year, The Smithsonian will unveil a new exhibit called ‘The Art of Video Games.’ The exhibit will explore the 40 year history of games that include Pac-Man and Super Mario.

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San Francisco’s gaming world wants its fair share of play time too. So the on-line nonprofit group, The Museum of Arts and Digital Entertainment, is taking donations to open up a museum space that would house video games both old and new. Its founder hopes that the museum will also be the spark for future designers’ creative ideas for games.

“Generally, our plan is to have a facility that highlights video games as art,” said MADE founder Alex Handy,” which instructs the public as to how video games are created and how they are made, and what creative processes are involved.”

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Handy said that originally, when games were created in the 1970’s and the 1980’s, it was one person creating the game by themselves. Later, he said, it got to the point where it took hundreds of people and millions of dollars to make one video game. Handy said technology has changed that process.

“Now because of the IPhone, because of the internet, all of these wonderful things coming together,” said Handy. “We are back to the point where one person can make a video game. In fact, there are single people making incredible video games out there.”

Handy got his inspiration to start the Museum when he found some unreleased Atari games at the Laney College Flea Market. Among this treasure trove was a game called ‘Cabbage Patch Kid Adventures in the Park.’ Handy released the game so he could share his find with other gamers. He said the Museum will be his way of preserving these games for future generations.

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