In the US, just about everything imaginable has a hall of fame—rock’n’roll, the major sports, the less popular sports, the state of Rhode Island—and now, there’s an official hall of fame for video games.
The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, dedicated “to the history and exploration of play,” announced June 4 that it’s inducted the first class of legends to its new World Video Game Hall of Fame. It includes some true videogame pioneers—no, not the computer scientists and designers who created iconic games, nor the star players (some of whom are making millions now). We’re talking about the games themselves.
Here’s the inaugural class:
One of the first 3D, first-person shooter games, and a nightmare-maker for children of the ’90s. The game’s framework went on to become the backbone for multiple classic shooter games.
Star of the upcoming summer blockbuster Pixels, Pac-Man had a humble beginning chomping on pellets, ghosts, and assorted produce in arcades in the ’80s. Then he got married, and had kids. The rest is history.
A trailblazer patiently enjoyed by millions since 1972, Pong arguably was the first videogame ever. Though it’s probably not.
Super Mario Bros.
Rather like Pac-Man, Mario came from inauspicious beginnings. Originally a plumber with his equally mustachioed brother in Brooklyn, he went on to use his intricate knowledge of plumbing to save princesses in mythical kingdoms, get a doctorate, compete in the Olympics, and appear in more than 250 Nintendo games.
The Soviet tile-matching game with the most infectious theme music of all time. It was created in 1984 by a researcher at the Soviet Academy of Sciences, and became an international hit when it was bundled with the Game Boy in 1989. The original Game Boy version alone has sold upwards of 35 million copies.
World of Warcraft
Like Second Life for people who want to live in the Lord of the Rings film, this is one of those “massively multiplayer online role-playing games” (or the slightly less annoying MMORPG). There have been more than 100 million accounts since its launch in 2004. It’s a little addictive, too.
Honorable mentions went to Angry Birds, FIFA (which apparently was unhurt by the soccer league’s huge corruption scandal), The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, The Oregon Trail, Pokémon, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders.