richardsherman
Seahawks star Richard Sherman at the Halo 4 launch.

As if the EMP’s Art of Video Games exhibit could not get any more bad-ass, now local NFL stars and a Donkey Kong champion are joining in on the fun.

To ring in the final days of the exhibit, the EMP is inviting gamers out for “Game Nite 2,” next Friday, May 10 from 6 p.m. — 10 p.m.

Seahawks wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Percy Harvin, along with Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas will engage in Madden ’12 battles on the humongous Sky Church screen.

Meanwhile, two-time Donkey Kong champ and Seattle native Steve Wiebe will make an appearance. Wiebe is well-known for squaring off against arch-rival Billy Mitchell in the epic 2007 documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.

Steve Wiebe.
Steve Wiebe.

We ran into Sherman last year at the big Halo 4 launch where we found out that he’s been a gamer ever since you “had to blow on the games to clean them.” A self-proclaimed Halo guy, Sherman tried going up against fellow fans and 343 developers that night but couldn’t play ten seconds without respawning.

“Those guys are riiiiidiculous,” he admitted.

But that couldn’t keep Sherman from enjoying the launch.

“This is amazing,” he said. “I wish I knew about events like this when I was younger. They should have these kind of things all the time to bring people together. A lot of gamerheads would love this kind of stuff.”

Gamers should love Game Nite 2 as well, which will also feature spotlight talks from gaming industry experts like Richard Rowen of Glu Mobile, Patrick Wylie of Big Fish and Lou Fasulo fo Z2Live.

artofvideogames123The Art of Video Games exhibit takes you through the incredibly short yet robust evolution of video games as an art, from the Atari VCS to Myst to the Nintendo Wii.

Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibit is on a 10-city tour with Seattle as the only West Coast stop. There are 20 kiosks set up, each featuring original consoles (SEGA Master System, N64, PS3, etc.) with four influential games played from that time period grouped into categories: Action, Target, Adventure, Tactics.

At each kiosk, you can learn about the ins and outs of each game with an audio/video spotlight. For example, the 1985 NES station has descriptions of Super Mario Brothers 3 (Action), 1943: The Battle of Midway (Target), The Legend of Zelda (Adventure) and Desert Commander (Tactics).

There are also five era-specific games available for hands-on play: Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst and Flower. Yes, that means you can actually play Super Mario Brothers on the original NES.

There are also some awesome concept sketches from World of Warcraft, Fallout and Starcraft, along with interviews with some of the top figures in the gaming world.

The event runs until May 13. See more photos here.

Previously on GeekWire: From Shawn Kemp to Edgar Martinez: Favorite phones and apps of Seattle’s sports stars

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