- Screenshot from Feb. 15, 2011.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum's website for "The Art of Video Games" is back up after a crash yesterday due to overwhelming enthusiasm from video game fans. The museum is encouraging fans to vote for which games will make it into the 2011 exhibit, and opened up the poll on Feb. 14.
You'd think that the museum would have anticipated that video game fans — tech-savvy and rabidly loyal to their hobby — would flock to the site. But the SAAM didn't prepare for a crush of voting. According to museum spokesperson Laura Baptiste, by the time the site went down less than 24 hours after it opened, it had 19,000 registered users, more than 50,000 unique visitors, 240,000 individual votes and more than 250,000 unique views. Visitors were soon greeted with the message: "Eek! Your enthusiasm has overwhelmed us and we're experiencing technical difficulties! Please have patience while we fix this."
"We hoped the voting would be popular, but we didn’t expect the massive numbers we got in the first 24 hours," said Baptiste in an e-mail.
Voting reopened this morning just before 9 a.m., and Baptiste says that SAAM's tally is 450,000 votes and counting. The exhibit, which is scheduled to open on March 16, 2012, is likely to turn out a huge crowd. Meanwhile, gamers worldwide are nerding out about their votes under the hashtag #taovg on the merits of God Hand, Star Fox, Alien Hominid and others that may, depending on how the votes land, go from the rec room to the hallowed halls of the Reynolds Center.
thebehem0th: Should #AlienHominid be in the SMITHSONIAN? Its up to you! Vote here: http://bit.ly/f4LtuO (Era 5, Gamecube) #taovg [RT please!
SimonBob: lol why would you include both "metroid prime 2" and "metroid prime trilogy" in separate parts of your poll #taovg
SimonBob: aaah don't make me pick between Star Fox 64 and Goldeneye ;_; #taovg
Ouren: Can someone explain to me why Red Alert 3 is in the strategy genre on PS3 for #taovg @Smithsonian over Valkria Chronicles?
Ymber_Exustio Yo: @americanart for your best video game art ever, God Hand wins everything. God Hand is basically the Picasso of video games. #taovg