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Cyan’s Myst chosen by Museum of Modern Art for videogame collection

New York’s Museum of Modern Art has added Cyan World’s groundbreaking game Myst to a collection of significant, artistic videogames.

The MoMA game collection, at www.moma.org, is the start of an evolving exhibit expected to grow to around 40 major games. The full list of the first 14 is found here.

The initial list includes games that became widely known, including Pac-Man, Tetris, The Sims, SimCity 2000 and EVE Online.

Myst was released in 1993, produced by Cyan Worlds, based in Mead. The MoMA listing recognizes brothers Rand and Robyn Miller as the game’s primary creators. Later versions of the Myst franchise included the games Riven, realMyst, Myst V: End of Ages, and Myst Online: Uru Live.

MoMA said it will install the 14 games for a public exhibit in March. Some of the games will be installed in interactive mode, allowing visitors to experience the games firsthand.

“Robyn and I were really excited and tickled to hear Myst was chosen by MoMA,” said Rand Miller, the CEO of Cyan Worlds.

Robyn Miller played a key role in the first Myst product. Since then he’s left the company and is an independent filmmaker.

Myst drew widespread attention because it allowed players to explore and find solutions in a world of challenges and puzzles. It drew praise for drastically breaking from the style of games where one destroys orcs, kills enemies or takes over territory.

This marks the second time this year Myst was chosen for a major collection.

Earlier this year the Smithsonian Museum compiled a traveling exhibit called The Art of Videogames. Myst was one of 80 games included.

The Smithsonian group, which included Donkey Kong and Space Invaders and other arcade favorites, resulted from people voting for their favorite games. “The MoMA collection was based on aesthetics,” Rand Miller said, “and that makes it a bit more satisfying.”

Cyan Worlds continues working on projects, employing 10 people. It’s created iPad and iPhone versions of Myst and is preparing to release an iOS version of Riven, considered the sequel to Myst.