The year is 2118. My name is Gabriel Van Buren and I work in the official gallery of the International Video Game Preservation Society (IVGPS), an organization dedicated to maintaining historically and culturally significant games and keeping them functional for future generations. The gallery itself occupies the site that was once known as the MoMA, many many decades ago.
For you see other art forms no longer matter, they were all practice runs until the art of game design came along. And there were doubters, of course, as gaming hobbled along and struggled and grew - but as they advanced it became progressively harder to deny their significance. Gaming was without a doubt the greatest achievement of any artist, and mankind's ultimate and final mark upon the universe. They function as a way to externalize our own existence, to defiantly gaze up into the chaos of the universe and declare "I was human, I was alive."
The population dwindles these days. War after war, societies riven on a planet seemingly focused on being rid of us; but the organization holds on. It is a privilege to be here, in these final days. To see humanity's highest accomplishment and rest knowing they will be intact long after I'm gone, for as long as the Earth shall live. I am not sorrowful of our imminent demise - rather I'm overwhelmingly grateful that such beauty had the chance to exist at all.
I walk the library floor as I have done so many thousands of times before. My eyes dance across the shelves, relishing each title as it were a gift, drinking in the great symphony of artistic advancement laid out in order. Rows and rows of the greatest achievements the interactive medium has to offer. Relics of so long ago; they may seem primitive now, but each one was magnificent in its time. Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, Portal, Half-Life, The Last of Us... those were before the singularity, before the bar was set. Before we had any idea what games, as an art, could truly be.
I feel excited as I scan these shelves: the anticipation of a million gamers across time as they got to experience the singularity, having their expectations utterly annihilated. Knowing definitively that mankind has peaked and that they are the most privileged generation in all of history for getting to experience it first hand. Each game represents another rung on the ladder, a step closer to being recognized as the great art form it was destined to be. Gamers were so easily impressed back then, and yet they had no idea what was just around the corner. It's getting late, but it's hard not to indulge in nostalgia when such rich history surrounds me.
I pick up the pace now, getting closer. I feel giddy, as I always do. Its majesty never wears, regardless of how many years pass. I turn a corner. And then I see it - the greatest achievement of all, the one that finally, undeniably crowned gaming as not only a bonafide art form in itself but as the single greatest expression of human creativity.
The one game that surpassed all others and elevated human expression itself, transcended language to bare the very fundamentals of the soul. Its very presence makes my knees weak, my eyes water, my jaw drop. My mind drinks in every letter of its glorious title. It always feels far too good to be true, and yet here it is right before me, plain as day. By far the greatest game - the greatest work of art - that has ever existed, and will ever exist. The ultimate. The all-consuming. The only game that ever truly mattered at all: Animal HTML5 Coloring.