The recently established World Video Game Hall of Fame, located at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, has announced fifteen titles that have been selected as finalists for the inaugural class. They are as follows:
The Legend of Zelda
The Oregon Trail
Sonic the Hedgehog
Super Mario Bros.
World of Warcraft
The Hall of Fame has not announced the number of titles that will be chosen for the June 4th induction ceremony.
It is a stellar list for the very first class and it is hard to argue against any of these games. I do find it interesting that they are allowing an entire series to be inducted in some cases. I would like to know how they decide, say, to induct FIFA as a series but the first Super Mario Bros. game as a standalone title.
Personally I have played thirteen of the fifteen nominees. World of Warcraft and Pokémon are titles that have eluded me over the years, but I still understand their relevance and contributions to the video game industry. All these titles do fit the mold established by the Hall, which “recognizes individual electronic games of all types—arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile—that have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and society in general.”
I have good memories of a lot of these games, such as playing The Oregon Trail on an Apple II-C computer in the fourth grade. Games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda are what got me hooked on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. I spent many hours playing Tetris on the original Game Boy’s black and green/yellowish screen and failed miserably at Sonic the Hedgehog on my Sega Genesis.
There are many deserving, and most likely obvious, titles that are left of this list but remember that this is just the first class. Games such as Super Mario Bros. 3, BioShock, Tecmo Super Bowl, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past are some of my favorite games of all time and ones that I feel will eventually be included. It is hard to imagine series like Call of Duty and Mortal Kombat being absent for long from the Hall.
There are so many great games and memories involved over time with various consoles that the World Video Game Hall of Fame is sure to become a top tourist attraction for pop culture enthusiasts. Check out the official site: worldvideogamehalloffame.org
Follow Jeff on Twitter: @JeffLane22