New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has announced the start of a brand new collection and category of artworks: Video Games. This new collection, which currently features 14 games, but has plans to expand to 40 in the “near future,” places well-loved classics front and center, including Pac-Man, Tetris and SimCity 2000.

Before we dive into the full list, you may be asking yourself “wait! are video games actually art?” The MoMA has answered that question for you:

They sure are.

In the MoMA, design and art are showcased hand-in-hand, and video games fall into the interaction design field, which the MoMA calls “one of the most important and oft-discussed expressions of contemporary design creativity.” Being gamers ourselves, this assessment hits home, as truly iconic games are masterpieces in their own right.

1 tetris 520x390 Bam! Pac Man, Tetris and 12 others land in The Museum of Modern Arts new Video Game collection

So far, MoMA has acquired the following games, all of which will be on display in the Museum’s Philip Johnson Galleries in March 2013:

• Pac-Man (1980)
• Tetris (1984)
• Another World (1991)
• Myst (1993)
• SimCity 2000 (1994)
• vib-ribbon (1999)
• The Sims (2000)
• Katamari Damacy (2004)
• EVE Online (2003)
• Dwarf Fortress (2006)
• Portal (2007)
• flOw (2006)
• Passage (2008)
• Canabalt (2009)

According to Paola Antonelli, the Senior Curator for MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design, the following will be added soon:

Over the next few years, we would like to complete this initial selection with Spacewar! (1962), an assortment of games for the Magnavox Odyssey console (1972), Pong (1972), Snake (originally designed in the 1970s; Nokia phone version dates from 1997), Space Invaders (1978), Asteroids (1979), Zork (1979), Tempest (1981),Donkey Kong (1981), Yars’ Revenge (1982), M.U.L.E. (1983), Core War (1984), Marble Madness (1984), Super Mario Bros. (1985), The Legend of Zelda (1986), NetHack (1987), Street Fighter II (1991), Chrono Trigger (1995),Super Mario 64 (1996), Grim Fandango (1998), Animal Crossing (2001), and Minecraft (2011).

Screen Shot 2012 11 29 at 11.14.30 AM 520x270 Bam! Pac Man, Tetris and 12 others land in The Museum of Modern Arts new Video Game collection

Best of all, you can now go back to your parents and explain to them that, for all they times they yelled at you to go outside and play while your hands were glued to a controller, they were actually interrupting your exploration of fine art. ZING!

Image credit: LEON NEAL / Getty Images