The Strong Announces 2016 World Video Game Hall of Fame Inductees

The Strong Announces 2016 World Video Game Hall of Fame Inductees

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The Strong announced today the 2016 inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

In June of 2015, The Strong National Museum of Play inducted its inaugural class in its newly established World Video Game Hall of Fame. The games inducted were Pong, Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Mario Bros., DOOM, and World of Warcraft.

Today, The Strong announced a new group of inductees that will join those ranks: Grand Theft Auto III, The Legend of Zelda, The Oregon Trail, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders were selected from the 15 finalists. The games that didn't make the cut this year were Elite, Final Fantasy, John Madden Football, Minecraft, Nurburgring, Pokemon Red and Green, Sid Meier's Civilization, Street Fighter II, and Tomb Raider.

Nominations were accepted through February 29, and games were considered based on the following criteria:

Icon-status - the game is widely recognized and remembered
Longevity - the game is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over time
Geographical reach - the game meets the above criteria across international boundaries
Influence - the game has exerted significant influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society in general.

Final selections were made on the advice of journalists, scholars, and other individuals familiar with the history of video games and their role in society.

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Edit: Whoops.

Saelune:
Halls of Fame always confuse me cause its always like, "We added new stuff" and its always stuff that you feel like it should have been there forever ago. How does -any- GTA get in before DOOM? Or Tetris.

Tetris and Doom are already in, they were inducted last year.

Gorrath:

Saelune:
Halls of Fame always confuse me cause its always like, "We added new stuff" and its always stuff that you feel like it should have been there forever ago. How does -any- GTA get in before DOOM? Or Tetris.

Tetris and Doom are already in, they were inducted last year.

I...misread this article.

Saelune:

Gorrath:

Saelune:
Halls of Fame always confuse me cause its always like, "We added new stuff" and its always stuff that you feel like it should have been there forever ago. How does -any- GTA get in before DOOM? Or Tetris.

Tetris and Doom are already in, they were inducted last year.

I...misread this article.

As have we all! To spark a bit of discussion, should you like, can you think of anything that's not already in that you'd have included?

For me, the lack of either Final Fantasy, King's Quest or Dragon Warrior is an egregious oversight. Even though Final Fantasy has at least gotten a nomination, Dragon Warrior hasn't even been sniffed at and is arguably more deserving.

Gorrath:

Saelune:

Gorrath:

Tetris and Doom are already in, they were inducted last year.

I...misread this article.

As have we all! To spark a bit of discussion, should you like, can you think of anything that's not already in that you'd have included?

For me, the lack of either Final Fantasy, King's Quest or Dragon Warrior is an egregious oversight. Even though Final Fantasy has at least gotten a nomination, Dragon Warrior hasn't even been sniffed at and is arguably more deserving.

Well, since this is a new thing, I feel like there are just tons of games that deserve an automatic in, since they are so part of gaming history. I know WoW, deserves to be in it (don't know if it is yet or not) even though I think its a bad game.

Ignoring what may or may not already be in, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time, DOOM, atleast one Call of Duty, Id say 2 but I fear 4 would get picked. Quake, Street Fighter 2, Sonic, preferably Sonic 2, Mortal Kombat, Dragons Lair, Soul Edge...mostly thinking of games that define a genre, advanced a genre, or even defined a gaming age. Games that regardless if you liked it or not can appreciate its relevance.

Saelune:

Gorrath:

Saelune:
I...misread this article.

As have we all! To spark a bit of discussion, should you like, can you think of anything that's not already in that you'd have included?

For me, the lack of either Final Fantasy, King's Quest or Dragon Warrior is an egregious oversight. Even though Final Fantasy has at least gotten a nomination, Dragon Warrior hasn't even been sniffed at and is arguably more deserving.

Well, since this is a new thing, I feel like there are just tons of games that deserve an automatic in, since they are so part of gaming history. I know WoW, deserves to be in it (don't know if it is yet or not) even though I think its a bad game.

Ignoring what may or may not already be in, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time, DOOM, atleast one Call of Duty, Id say 2 but I fear 4 would get picked. Quake, Street Fighter 2, Sonic, preferably Sonic 2, Mortal Kombat, Dragons Lair, Soul Edge...mostly thinking of games that define a genre, advanced a genre, or even defined a gaming age. Games that regardless if you liked it or not can appreciate its relevance.

You named a bunch that are already in but that's no surprise. The Legend of Zelda question is a tough one for me because while the original is legendary (irony!) and Ocarina of Time really pushed into new territory, none quite has the punch for me that Link to the Past does. I'm right with you on Soul Edge; it was better than all of its contemporary 3d fighter games.

Since we're only in the second year of this and there's so many untapped automatic-ins, I'm sure there's a ton of relevant games we could all agree should and will get in so for now we're just stuck arguing over what should get in before what else. That's why GTA3 gets the side-eye from me; it deserves to be in but not over Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior.

One genre that's hardly even been touched is the sports game genre, where Madden Football and FIFA are must-haves.

Also, one that's not even been nominated that has to be an automatic-in is Starcraft. How has Starcraft not even been nominated?

Yeah, it'll be a few years before this is really where it needs to be. We do need Final Fantasy (or possibly VII?), Metal Gear Solid, Madden, Minecraft, Resident Evil, Halo, Super Mario 64, and many others. I understand why we can't get them all at once, but it's still frustrating.

P.S. Thanks

Covarr:
Yeah, it'll be a few years before this is really where it needs to be. We do need Final Fantasy (or possibly VII?), Metal Gear Solid, Madden, Minecraft, Resident Evil, Halo, Super Mario 64, and many others. I understand why we can't get them all at once, but it's still frustrating.

P.S. Thanks

Would you want Resident Evil or one of its successors? Resident Evil is just so... so bad. The voice acting haunts my dreams but then the later games suffer from their own faults.

Gorrath:
Would you want Resident Evil or one of its successors? Resident Evil is just so... so bad. The voice acting haunts my dreams but then the later games suffer from their own faults.

The first one. Even though it was kind of a crap game (in every respect; even within the same framework RE2 was just so much better all around), it is significant for being the first survival-horror game to really enter the public mindset. Without it, we almost certainly wouldn't have Silent Hill, P.T., Amnesia, or Slender.

I'm well aware it wasn't the first game in the genre to succeed; Alone in the Dark and Clock Tower both leap to mind. But Resident Evil was a dang phenomenon. It was also, to my knowledge, the first game to use the term "Survival Horror"; older games have only been called that since after RE's release. In my opinion, that's pretty significant, even if I don't think the game is even very good.

P.S. Thanks

I actually disagree with Sonic the Hedgehog being inducted, especially over the likes of final fantasy or pokemon; I just don't think it had the same amount of impact on game design and culture the others have. Although it's kind of funny that what is arguably one of the most epic failing franchises of all time got in before final fantasy or pokemon. Has there ever been an unsuccessful pokemon game?

I'm curious as to what next year's batch of inductees will be.

Covarr:

Gorrath:
Would you want Resident Evil or one of its successors? Resident Evil is just so... so bad. The voice acting haunts my dreams but then the later games suffer from their own faults.

The first one. Even though it was kind of a crap game (in every respect; even within the same framework RE2 was just so much better all around), it is significant for being the first survival-horror game to really enter the public mindset. Without it, we almost certainly wouldn't have Silent Hill, P.T., Amnesia, or Slender.

I'm well aware it wasn't the first game in the genre to succeed; Alone in the Dark and Clock Tower both leap to mind. But Resident Evil was a dang phenomenon. It was also, to my knowledge, the first game to use the term "Survival Horror"; older games have only been called that since after RE's release. In my opinion, that's pretty significant, even if I don't think the game is even very good.

P.S. Thanks

Oh I don't disagree with you by any means and you defend your choice well. RE is always a curiosity to me because it is at once very influential and also kind of terrible. I see people praise RE4 a lot but to me it marked the major change from slow, difficult horror survival to action shoot-em-up. I'd never argue RE shouldn't be included but it's certainly a head-scratcher with regard to which one to pick.

flying_whimsy:
I actually disagree with Sonic the Hedgehog being inducted, especially over the likes of final fantasy or pokemon; I just don't think it had the same amount of impact on game design and culture the others have. Although it's kind of funny that what is arguably one of the most epic failing franchises of all time got in before final fantasy or pokemon. Has there ever been an unsuccessful pokemon game?

I'm curious as to what next year's batch of inductees will be.

I think it got in because the first and second iterations were amazing and the cultural penetration the game has had is staggering! It's no where near as influential as a game like FF but it sure does blow the doors off it in terms of cultural influence. I would agree it doesn't hold up compared to Pokemon though. Pokemon pretty much maxes out every aspect of their grading criteria so its absence remains a mystery to me.

flying_whimsy:
I actually disagree with Sonic the Hedgehog being inducted, especially over the likes of final fantasy or pokemon; I just don't think it had the same amount of impact on game design and culture the others have. Although it's kind of funny that what is arguably one of the most epic failing franchises of all time got in before final fantasy or pokemon. Has there ever been an unsuccessful pokemon game?

I agree with you wholeheartedly.

The only Sonic game I've ever liked was Sonic Adventure 2, and that's almost pure nostalgia talking: the game is total garbage in hindsight.

Not to be controversial (lol), but the reason why the Sonic series has been floundering so hard trying to make a good 3D game is because they were never good to begin with. Even the original, beloved classics are full of contradictory mechanics and boring level design.

Sonic was designed around a the one thing the Genesis had over the SNES - its faster CPU - and was marketed as such (Blast Processing, anyone?) Even the character of Sonic himself was packaged as a 'hip' alternative to the 'lame' Mario - he was designed to be a mascot, where Mario just sort of became one on his own merits.

So yeah, I don't think Sonic is worthy of acclaim. I may be just a taaaad biased, though. :D

Prince of Persia, aka the original Dark Souls.

These are the criteria, by the way:

Icon-status: the game is widely recognized and remembered.
Longevity: the game is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over time.
Geographical reach: the game meets the above criteria across international boundaries.
Influence: The game has exerted significant influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society in general. A game may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.

They're fairly tough and exclude a lot of games based solely on the last one. You could sing the praises of Final Fantasy VII, but did it actually influence anything else? (I'm honestly asking, I don't know)

Also, since a game can be picked exclusively on the last criteria, you could arguably have some walking simulator or game based on the experience of having a child with cancer be picked, because enough news papers picked up the story at the time. Would it be a fair entrance to a hall of fame position? In my opinion, absolutely not.

How'd you pick an RTS game? People generally agree that Dune 2 was the "original", but how would you justify that over picking Command & Conquer or Red Alert as being more influentual or having longevity?
Would a sports game ever be considered?

It's pretty much the same every time someone makes a list of famous games, it depends on when people were born, what they had available to them and the subjective feelings of the people who choose the nominees in the end. This one just seems to be more along the line of pompous academic know-it-all's along the lines of other media "award" ceremonies.
It's not necessarily worse, but not exactly better either.

I know they only want to let a certain amount in each year, but how is Pokemon not on this list yet? The Sims could easily be saved for another year.

hentropy:
I know they only want to let a certain amount in each year, but how is Pokemon not on this list yet? The Sims could easily be saved for another year.

The SIMs represents the birth of the casual gamer. People who never played a thing before played the SIMs. If we want to talk cultural penetration, it rates way up there.

Jhereg42:

hentropy:
I know they only want to let a certain amount in each year, but how is Pokemon not on this list yet? The Sims could easily be saved for another year.

The SIMs represents the birth of the casual gamer. People who never played a thing before played the SIMs. If we want to talk cultural penetration, it rates way up there.

I strongly disagree. The Sims was originally a PC game, unavailable for the more "casual" consoles and long before the mobile market. The Sims is also not a "casual" game by an measure, it's reasonably complex, even if there's no great difficulty or competition in it. The Sims did help grow the gaming market with women, if that's what your alluding to.

But even by that standard, Pokemon has probably done more grow gaming among girls, women, younger and more casual fans years before The Sims did. The Sims certainly deserves to be in there, but the second year?

I would have replaced Space Invaders and Sonic with Civilization and Madden. Sim City, Ultima, and Half Life should be on the list of finalists.

Smilomaniac:
They're fairly tough and exclude a lot of games based solely on the last one. You could sing the praises of Final Fantasy VII, but did it actually influence anything else? (I'm honestly asking, I don't know)

FF7 was the entry point for many people into the world of JRPGs, even moreso than the Dragon Quest series, which while entertaining and also influential, relies on conventions that haven't aged well and is largely limited to Japan's popularity sphere. Even though the Final Fantasy series in of itself (and JRPGs in general) hasn't fared too well in recent years, people still won't shut up about the FF7 remake.

I'm confused by GTA III if we're taking different points in the lifecycle then San Andreas is by far the most Iconic one and Vice City and 5 can vie for a second place in different regards?

I mean that's the entire point about 5 they built around the nostalgia for San Andreas to create a smashing hit.

hentropy:
I know they only want to let a certain amount in each year, but how is Pokemon not on this list yet? The Sims could easily be saved for another year.

I suppose it is because we have to divorce the Game from the series and the iconic status of Pokemon is absolutely grounded in the series and not the other way around.

Sure it has personal merit but it's not as revolutionairy as others.

Politrukk:

hentropy:
I know they only want to let a certain amount in each year, but how is Pokemon not on this list yet? The Sims could easily be saved for another year.

I suppose it is because we have to divorce the Game from the series and the iconic status of Pokemon is absolutely grounded in the series and not the other way around.

Sure it has personal merit but it's not as revolutionairy as others.

Again, I guess I just disagree. You could level the same charge at Zelda. Sure, the original LoZ was fairly revolutionary for its day, first with a save option, but it wouldn't be "legendary" if the series stopped there. Hell, you could say the same for many of the games on this list so far.

Really when I stop to think about it more, Pokemon seems much more deserving. I may be a bit biased because like many I grew up during the original craze, but Pokemon cemented the legacy of the Game Boy, becoming the most iconic game on handheld in every further generation of handhelds, and sparked a franchise which has seen more reach than most games on the list. Mario and Zelda didn't spark massively popular tabletop games and neither had a successful anime that has been running for 19 years. None of that would have happened with Red/Blue/Green. That's not to mention that Pokemon is perhaps one of the only games which has mass appeal worldwide wherever it has touched.

The Sims, on the other hand, was a self-contained phenomenon. The people who loved it, loved it with a passion, it was an innovative idea for a game and a money maker, but it was also a game that was easy to ignore and forget about. No one could ignore Pokemon, and few titles on this list so far has gotten close to its cultural reach.

Would have put in Sonic 2 over the original.

hentropy:

Again, I guess I just disagree. You could level the same charge at Zelda. Sure, the original LoZ was fairly revolutionary for its day, first with a save option, but it wouldn't be "legendary" if the series stopped there. Hell, you could say the same for many of the games on this list so far.

Really when I stop to think about it more, Pokemon seems much more deserving. I may be a bit biased because like many I grew up during the original craze, but Pokemon cemented the legacy of the Game Boy, becoming the most iconic game on handheld in every further generation of handhelds, and sparked a franchise which has seen more reach than most games on the list. Mario and Zelda didn't spark massively popular tabletop games and neither had a successful anime that has been running for 19 years. None of that would have happened with Red/Blue/Green. That's not to mention that Pokemon is perhaps one of the only games which has mass appeal worldwide wherever it has touched.

The Sims, on the other hand, was a self-contained phenomenon. The people who loved it, loved it with a passion, it was an innovative idea for a game and a money maker, but it was also a game that was easy to ignore and forget about. No one could ignore Pokemon, and few titles on this list so far has gotten close to its cultural reach.

I was a fan of Pokemon in my teens as well, growing up with the first generations of it, but even back then it was obvious that it was a giant effort at making a franchise, preying on kids to buy as much as possible.
Keep in mind that this is an academic site and thus they probably have a certain self-imposed "standard", in which Pokemon is probably some of the lowest of low kind of "art" in the medium.
I wouldn't count on the cartoons, TCG or other toys as a benefit (in this discussion) by the way, if anything they were all, including the games, designed to support one another to get kids to buy something, whether they were inspired by the game to buy a DVD or inspired by a plushie to buy the game, it didn't matter. This is probably the biggest detractor for Pokemon being the game that evolved into a cultural megasuccess rather than just a brand that might as well have been a line of clothes or shoes.

Until I could get most of my Gameboy games through the 3DS market, I still regularly picked up the old beige (yellow now) handheld to play Link's Awakening, but I've always ignored replaying the Pokemon games. They're just not that good.
Grinding through a pokedex, which is the only end goal, is anything but appealing to me, especially since I'd have to get another Gameboy and one of the other versions, in order to do it. The story and gameplay honestly doesn't do much to lift the original game(s) either. The best thing the game had going for it, were the unforgiving and downright unfair cave areas that mercilessly ground you to a pulp until you learned about using Repel. That was (and still is) a true gaming moment for a lot of people.

I would rate Pokemon as an undeniably gigantic financial success, but not a contender for the hall of fame for games.

At the same time, I'm just fine with the original Sims being in there.
Even though it became just as sleazy a franchise (although far less cutesy and original than Pokemon), it differed in the way that it wasn't just a digital toy collection, but a simulation that led to emergent gameplay and was a window into how "normal" people would do some pretty crazy and abhorrent things. Besides that, it was also one of the first sandbox games, that let people turn the idyllic initial neighborhood into something completely unrecognizable (also, mods!). It's kind of an unintentional "win" and it has led to some really crappy and abusive "casual" games that do everything they can to fleece you, but you could do a lifetime of studies into this one game.

Anyway, I get the feeling that I won't necessarily convince you with my arguments and I don't think you're wrong. This is so mired in subjective opinions (and probably a bit of east vs west politics) that we'll never find a truly objective answer. I also agree with you that the reach Pokemon had was a hell of a lot larger, so if that was the sole criteria, there'd be no contest between Pokemon and almost any other game out there (probably with the exception of World of Warcraft or League of Legends, for the sheer number of players).

My best guess, and I'm repeating myself here, is really just that it's a question of academic prefference. At the very least, it's a tangible argument you can stick to and be annoyed at them for not picking what you'd prefer :D

Smilomaniac:
I was a fan of Pokemon in my teens as well, growing up with the first generations of it, but even back then it was obvious that it was a giant effort at making a franchise, preying on kids to buy as much as possible.
Keep in mind that this is an academic site and thus they probably have a certain self-imposed "standard", in which Pokemon is probably some of the lowest of low kind of "art" in the medium.
I wouldn't count on the cartoons, TCG or other toys as a benefit (in this discussion) by the way, if anything they were all, including the games, designed to support one another to get kids to buy something, whether they were inspired by the game to buy a DVD or inspired by a plushie to buy the game, it didn't matter. This is probably the biggest detractor for Pokemon being the game that evolved into a cultural megasuccess rather than just a brand that might as well have been a line of clothes or shoes.

Until I could get most of my Gameboy games through the 3DS market, I still regularly picked up the old beige (yellow now) handheld to play Link's Awakening, but I've always ignored replaying the Pokemon games. They're just not that good.
Grinding through a pokedex, which is the only end goal, is anything but appealing to me, especially since I'd have to get another Gameboy and one of the other versions, in order to do it. The story and gameplay honestly doesn't do much to lift the original game(s) either. The best thing the game had going for it, were the unforgiving and downright unfair cave areas that mercilessly ground you to a pulp until you learned about using Repel. That was (and still is) a true gaming moment for a lot of people.

I would rate Pokemon as an undeniably gigantic financial success, but not a contender for the hall of fame for games.

At the same time, I'm just fine with the original Sims being in there.
Even though it became just as sleazy a franchise (although far less cutesy and original than Pokemon), it differed in the way that it wasn't just a digital toy collection, but a simulation that led to emergent gameplay and was a window into how "normal" people would do some pretty crazy and abhorrent things. Besides that, it was also one of the first sandbox games, that let people turn the idyllic initial neighborhood into something completely unrecognizable (also, mods!). It's kind of an unintentional "win" and it has led to some really crappy and abusive "casual" games that do everything they can to fleece you, but you could do a lifetime of studies into this one game.

Anyway, I get the feeling that I won't necessarily convince you with my arguments and I don't think you're wrong. This is so mired in subjective opinions (and probably a bit of east vs west politics) that we'll never find a truly objective answer. I also agree with you that the reach Pokemon had was a hell of a lot larger, so if that was the sole criteria, there'd be no contest between Pokemon and almost any other game out there (probably with the exception of World of Warcraft or League of Legends, for the sheer number of players).

My best guess, and I'm repeating myself here, is really just that it's a question of academic prefference. At the very least, it's a tangible argument you can stick to and be annoyed at them for not picking what you'd prefer :D

Well I don't think the "academic" argument holds up so much, because why is GTA on the list if it's just a bunch of snooty intellectuals? I don't really love Doom or WoW, but I can totally see how they should be on the list.

No, I'm afraid the explanation is much more simple than that. They simply don't want to put more than one Nintendo game on there per year, because they're afraid of being considered biased or something. Realistically, Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and Pokemon are all first-year inductee worthy, but if you confine yourself to five per year it doesn't leave much room for others. Pokemon was never actually made by Nintendo directly, but I guess being in SSB is too close proximity.

I can understand the impulse, but a max of two per year would have been better. At this rate a game like Metroid or Pokemon is going to have to wait until years 3-4 to get in. I think it undermines the credibility of The Strong, if only in the short term. I'd rather not visit the museum myself if their "Video Game Hall of Fame" section leaves off obvious selections because of politics that have nothing to do with their stated criteria.

hentropy:

I strongly disagree. The Sims was originally a PC game, unavailable for the more "casual" consoles and long before the mobile market. The Sims is also not a "casual" game by an measure, it's reasonably complex, even if there's no great difficulty or competition in it. The Sims did help grow the gaming market with women, if that's what your alluding to.

But even by that standard, Pokemon has probably done more grow gaming among girls, women, younger and more casual fans years before The Sims did. The Sims certainly deserves to be in there, but the second year?

I didn't say it was a casual game in a derogatory sense. I said that it was the birth of the casual gamer.

You forget that consoles were not the gateway to casual gamers at the time (That started with the Wii). They were pricy and computers were in almost every home by 2000. Since computers were common it was easily accessible without a console and available with tons of plug and play expansions at every Superstore for years. It's design was easily accessible. People who were not drawn to the PC gaming market (which at the time was very hard core) were drawn to it in droves. It sold more copies than Starcraft. I am not disparaging the game itself at all, but it is the first game I can recall that people's 40 year old moms played. Pokemon will be a headliner when it hits, but it was the crack that lead to hobbyists, not casual gamers.

 

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