Therefore these games were chosen because of their design merits, because they were deemed high quality products of the era they were made in, and not because xyz game carries a certain "deep" or "artistic" message or any of that bullcrap that most people usually come up with when they want to elevate games to the level of "art". As the name suggest, these games will become a part of an exhibition that is mostly for people with an eye for design, and I think that is as far as games could - and should - go when art is concerned.
I'm quite sure you're 100% wrong about the bolded bit in your statement.
Art; noun; the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. For me personally, art carries more weight depending on how it provokes emotional states. I'm not a programmer, so I really couldn't give a crap less about how well it was designed. It doesn't interest me in the least.
Design does not mean the programming and coding part of the games, that's the technical, mechanical part; it refers to how the interface, art direction etc. function and look as a whole in the finished product, and I believe that when considering games as art this is the most sensible way of looking at them, and indeed that's what MOMA has done.
I think the part that you quoted from the dictionary and your statement which I have put in bold letters contradict each other. The definition clearly states that the most important factor when considering which works of art are more significant that others is how they measure up to certain aesthetic principles, how pleasing to the eye they are, how they come close to achieving a perfect, seamless balance while also possessing something unique, novel or unusual. There are no emotional states involved in this process in the classical sense of the word. If a piece of art is also capable of evoking a sense of awe, peacefulness, anger etc. in you, that is a good thing. However, that alone is not enough for something to be canonised as an exemplary piece of art, as emotions are rather subjective and can be influenced by a lot of different factors in a given person, and therefore a great many different works of varying quality are capable of evoking emotions depending on who is viewing them and it would be rather difficult to come to some sort of logical conclusion. You cannot be objective about personal, subjective emotions, experiences and feelings, unless you are a proponent of social engineering. And if a work of art evokes emotions in you that is your subjective experience, and as I said it is a good thing to be able to find something and connect with it, but that alone does not qualify for the work to be "exceptional" on a bigger scale.
If people want to canonise something they have to come up with a set of principles that can be measured in a more or less objective way, and aesthetic principles qualify for this. In this case I doubt that Pac-Man, The Sims, Katamari Damacy etc. were chosen to be showcased because of their power to evoke emotions. They were chosen because certain professionals in the field deemed them to be exceptional pieces of applied art, because they had exceptional design compared to other works in the same category in their era.
Do I agree with the choices? I might with some, might not with the others, but since I have obviously no say in the matter I actually don't really care. I only play the games; I am not involved with the industry in any way and therefore it does not really matter to me whether games are officially accepted as works of art or not, and that's why I don't understand why so many gamers would like video games to be accepted as art if they are not developers themselves. This is the point that I really wanted to make, but unfortunately I ended up opening another pointless "What is art?" discussion and I apologise for that.