Halls of Fame have now become a staple for industries/sports that have resisted past two or three generations, so it was only a matter of time until video games – one of the most rapidly rising industries both as money and entertainment are concerned – would get their own.
The initiative in this case belonged to The Strong National Museum of Play, who after opening a campaign in which the public proposed potential entries, narrowed it down to 15 video games and assembled a committee which would select the first initial inductees. The selection committee included museum curators, communication, culture and art history professors and representatives of the industry and the game media.
According to the official nomination page, for a game to be considered it must have reached icon status, enjoyed popularity over a larger period of time, garnered success internationally and had a decisive influence on later video games – with the note that games who meet the last criteria could be inducted even without meeting the first three.
But without further ado, here are the members of 2015 Strong Video Games Hall of Fame Class:
Many still probably have the misconception that Pong was the first video game ever made. While that title is still disputed among historians, it’s probably safe to say that it was the first relevant video game to be made. It was basically the spark which lit the idea that computer technology can also be used to entertain; its spot in this Hall of Fame is undisputed, regardless of its simplicity when compared to what followed after.
If Pong lit the fire, then Pac-Man added chemical fuel to it. The dot-eating ghost-avoiding head has become nothing less of a symbol, and was one of the main reasons that arcade game machines got so popular in the 80s, which in turn created an entire culture around video games alone.
Being still in the Cold War, of course, the Soviets couldn’t just let this emerging domain go uncontested. The piece-matching puzzle video game has also become an icon for video games – and in a way it’s one of the first games which really emphasized proper thinking ahead and planning. It also managed helped gaming reach cell phones, when they were starting to become less talking bricks and more multimedia devices.
Super Mario Bros
I don’t think a story about a plumber jumping on top of mushrooms in a bid to save an ever not present princess from a turtle-looking dragon would’ve had much success as a book, but that’s just the magic of video games for you. There’s something so captivating about Mario and Luigi that even to this day Nintendo are still making a huge success out of releasing games based on its iconic characters to this day.
It probably is the most controversial game on the list, but let’s face it: probably the first image which comes to mind nowadays when you think about video games is a screen showing hand holding a gun and shooting at virtual targets. That’s what Doom popularized: people were blown away by it and by its early full 3D engine, which paved the way for later, more complex video games.
World of Warcraft
It is the only modern entry on the list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t deserved. World of Warcraft is in a sense more than a video game: it’s a place where millions of people met, forged friendships and rivalries and in some cases even established families in real life. WoW is a great game in of itself, but its social aspect alone warrants its induction into the Hall of Fame.
The other games which were considered for induction this year but haven’t made it are the following: Angry Birds, FIFA, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, The Oregon Trail, Pokemon, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog and Space Invaders. They will all have a chance to be inducted come 2016, with the nomination process already being started.
Image Source: Mashable