With the finalists having been chosen for the World Video Game Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, some time ago, the winners have finally been announced. They’ve inducted six games ” into the inaugural class of its World Video Game Hall of Fame.” We can only assume that more will be induced each year. Below are the winners with the part of the site’s description of why they were induced. Each title is also linked to the full description given by the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
“Led by John Carmack and John Romero, the development team at id Software created a landmark game in 1993 that popularized the first-person shooter genre. Games like GoldenEye 007 (1997), Half-Life (1998), and Halo (2000) followed in the footsteps of DOOM. DOOM was more than just a commercial success—it also pioneered key aspects of game design and distribution that have become industry standards. The game’s designers created a game “engine” that separated the game’s basic functions from other aspects such as artwork.”
Created by programmer Toru Iwatani in 1980 and released by Namco in Japan and Midway in the United States, Pac-Man’s yellow, pizza-shaped title character and four colorful ghosts injected personality into video gaming. The maze game captured the imagination of millions of people and became the best-selling arcade video game ever. At the same time Pac-Man himself became the first iconic ambassador of the video game era—at once symbolizing video gaming and transcending it as he crossed over into mass culture.
A simple game involving two paddles and a ball, Pong introduced millions to the joys of playing video games. Although it was not the first electronic game, and the Magnavox Odyssey home console already featured a similar tennis game, Pong was the first game to grab wide-scale public attention. Its success launched Atari into a preeminent role in the video game industry.
Created by legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and published by Nintendo, the side-scrolling platformer Super Mario Bros. first appeared in 1985 on the Nintendo Family Computer (Famicom), known in America as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Since his introduction, the character of Mario has been in more than 200 games and on every Nintendo console ever created. Mario has become the most popular video game franchise of all time, selling more than 260 million games worldwide.
The challenge seems straightforward: rotate and move falling shapes in order to complete solid horizontal lines that then disappear. The pieces vary in shape and, as the game continues, they fall ever faster, stacking on top of each other and forcing the player to try to fit them in before the lines fill to the top. Tetris emerged from the pleasure Alexey Pajitnov, a programmer from the Soviet Union, experienced trying to solve pentominoes, a mathematical puzzle in which players try to fit variously shaped pieces into a rectangular box.
By bringing tens of millions of people together in a compelling virtual universe, World of Warcraftis reshaping the way people think about their online lives and communities. In 1997, developer Richard Garriott described his game Ultima Online as a “massively multiplayer online role-playing game” (MMORPG). In an MMORPG, players create unique virtual avatars to represent themselves as they explore an open, constantly evolving world. While playing, gamers chat with one another, collaborate in guilds, engage in combat, and complete quests. After its release by Blizzard Entertainment in 2004, World of Warcraft became the largest and best-selling MMORPG ever created.
What do you think of the winners? Do you think another game should have beaten some of these choices? Sound off in the comments!