The Strong Museum’s World Video Game Hall of Fame has announced its inaugural class of inductees. The six honorees were whittled down from a list of 15 announced in April and were selected by a panel of journalists, scholars and individuals familiar with the history of gaming and its role in today’s culture.
The honorees are: Pong, Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Mario Bros., DOOM and World of Warcraft.
Missing out on the inaugural cut were Angry Birds, the FIFA franchise, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, The Oregon Trail, Pokemon, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog and Space Invaders.
The Strong Museum released statements on each of the six games honored in the Hall of Fame’s inaugural class.
“By most measures of popular impact, Pong (1972) launched the video game industry. A simple game involving two paddles and a ball, Pong introduced millions to the joys of playing video games. … Decades after its launch, Pong’s iconic sound, intuitive controls and satisfying game play still resonate.”
“Pac-Man, which debuted in 1980, pushed video games forward as a mass cultural phenomenon. The simple maze game captured the imagination of millions of people and became the best-selling arcade video game ever.”
“Tetris sprang from the Soviet Union in 1984 and spread to other Eastern European countries. In 1987, Tetris launched on PC’s in North America and Europe. … And when the Japanese video game developer Nintendo packaged it with the debut of the Game Boy handheld system in 1989, it traveled to every corner of the globe, selling hundreds of millions of copies across a variety of platforms.”
Super Mario Bros.
“Mario’s infectious, upbeat personality helped reinvigorate the struggling video game market. Since his introduction, the character of Mario has appeared in more than 200 games and on every Nintendo console ever created. Mario himself not only became the face of Nintendo, but also the face of the video game industry as a whole.”
“DOOM was a commercial success, but its most important legacy is the impact that it has had on the form, function, feel and perception of so many games that followed, such as Half-Life and Halo.”
World of Warcraft
“By bringing tens of millions of people together in a compelling virtual universe, World of Warcraft continues to reshape the way people think about their online lives and communities.”