Every year the Strong’s Video Game Hall of Fame inducts four video games into its ranks. The Strong Museum released a list of 12 finalists early this year, chosen by gamers. The final selections are made by the Player’s Choice ballot and an International Selection Advisory Committee. This committee consists of individuals familiar with the history of gaming and the role it plays in society.
Video Game Hall of Fame Finalists
The 12 finalists included; Bejeweled, Centipede, Frogger, GoldenEye 007, Guitar Hero, King’s Quest, Minecraft, NBA Jam, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.
Of these finalists, only four are chosen to enter the Video Game Hall of Fame. They join such esteemed titles as Donkey Kong, Final Fantasy VII, Doom, and many others. So which of the 12 finalists made it into the Video Game Hall of Fame?
It’s hard to argue the impact that a puzzle game like Bejeweled has had on the industry at large. Mobile gaming is the most profitable genre in gaming. Mobile gaming is so profitable because it costs little to make and it’s easy for anyone to play. Nearly any person who has ever used a cellphone has likely played Bejeweled or something inspired by it. Originally created as a web-based Flash game in 2001, the developer estimates that by 2013 it had been downloaded 500 million times. Shannon Symonds, one of the curators for the Strong Museum of Play says that tens of billions of hours have been played on Bejeweled and games like it.
Developed and released in 1981 by Atari, Centipede is a classic game that everyone today should recognize. It was popular during and even helped usher in the Golden Age of the Arcades. It also saw release on home consoles, portable game systems, and mobile apps. Centipede is also notable for including one of the only female programmers in the 1980’s gaming industry, Dona Bailey. Jeremy Saucier, Assistant Vice President of the Strong’s electronic games and interpretation said that Centipede is also responsible for helping attract more women to arcades.
Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest are names that are synonymous with gaming and role-playing in today’s world. But, before Cloud saved the world from Meteor, there was King’s Quest. Developed by Sierra On-Line co-founder Robert Williams in 1984, King’s Quest pioneered the way for graphic adventure games. It had a fairy tale setting, unique graphics, and humor. It would go on to receive seven sequels. Games today are still using tropes and conventions that King’s Quest established.
Minecraft may well be one of the most influential games of the past decade. Released in 2009, it started a global craze that to this day developers are still trying to imitate. The open-world, sandbox-style play that allows players to build and do whatever they want never goes out of style. The fact that Minecraft was able to strike such a chord with gamers despite its ‘blocky’ graphics is another testament to its strengths. Minecraft is a timeless game the same way that LEGO toys will never go out of style.
Feature Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images