The World Video Game Hall of Fame is a new effort by the Strong National Museum of Play to highlight games that have inspired and influenced the medium throughout the history of gaming. These games were chosen from among thousands of public nominations. They had to meet four criteria. The first was icon-status, or widespread recognition. The second was longevity. The third was geographic reach. And the final criterion was overall influence in the field of games, but also other media (and pop culture in general as well).
So who made the cut? There are lots of favorites in the list.
- Angry Birds
- The Legend of Zelda
- The Oregon Trail
- The Sims
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Space Invaders
- Super Mario Bros.
- World of Warcraft
Not all of these games will make it into the Video Game Hall of Fame (at least this year). A small committee of about two dozen scholars, journalists, and other people familiar with video games will choose 5-7 games from these nominees. Winners are to be announced June 4. Games that don’t make it into the Hall of Fame this year will be eligible for re-entry in the future.
Gamers have plenty of ideas about games that didn’t make the list. I was a bit surprised League of Legends and Final Fantasy aren’t there. And others still feel that a game can’t really be considered to have “longevity” until it’s been around for a decade or more.
But, it’s hard to argue that each of the listed games hasn’t left its mark on the world in a profound way. “While [Angry Birds] is a simple game with a relatively short existence, it’s had major global impact on video game play and, in a sense, turned hundreds of millions of people into ‘gamers’ that might never have considered themselves that before,” Strong spokesperson Shane Rhinewald said in an interview with Ars Technica.
If you’re anxious to weigh in, you can vote for your own favorites in a poll on the World Video Game Museum website.