Video games are art. That is the unwavering stance of Java innovator and noted game aficionado Chris Melissinos. When he talks about writing gaming code, he compares it to writing poetry. These games are more than digitized passtimes – they're an amalgam of all forms of traditional art, he says.

And if you take a second to consider his equation (Narrative plus orchestration plus painting plus social reflection plus sculpture equals video game) there's really no way to argue the point. For more evidence, there's the exhibition Melissinos curated, "The Art of Video Games," on view at Phoenix Art Museum through Sunday, September 29. The show looks at the 40-year history of gaming and how it has evolved over that span of time – from Pac-Man and Pong to World of Warcraft.

Interact with your art from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, in the museum's Steele Gallery at 1625 North Central Avenue. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $10 for students, and $6 for those ages 6 to 17. For more details and a full schedule of the museum's complementary programming for the exhibition (including film screenings and lectures), see or call 602-257-1222.

First Friday of every month, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Starts: July 5. Continues through Sept. 29, 2013