With the Art History of Games symposium opening tonight in Atlanta, indie game developer Tale of Tales (The Path, The Graveyard) launched its first iPhone/iPod Touch title, Vanitas, one of three "art games" commissioned for the event. It's now available through the handset's App Store for $0.99.

Short for "Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas", or "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity", Vanitas is a meditative piece designed without rules or rewards (aside from the gold star that appears when three identical objects appear). The game offers 35 different 3D objects that you can interact with in 12 different stages.

You can tilt, push, and drag the objects with your finger, as well as observe them without interfering (e.g. some objects decay, a flower blooms, a bubble pops.). Vanitas features cello music from Rasputina's Zoe Keating and quotes from The Bible and famous others (e.g. Nietzsche, Sappho) on topics like life and vanity.

The other two games commissioned for the three-day symposium are Jason Rohrer's PC game Sleep is Death (Geisterfahrer), and Nathalie Pozzi and Eric Zimmerman's life-size board game Sixteen Tons. Atlanta gallery Kai Lin Art will exhibit all three titles starting tonight and until March 2nd.