The votes have been tallied and the results are in, the Strong Museum is ready to announce the induction committee’s selections for the World Video Game Hall of Fame Class of 2016.
This year’s shortlist includes many well-known names, but only six were able to secure the support of the committee, which weighed each title on its ability to appeal to an international cross-section of players, longevity in the eyes of the public, iconic status, and influence on the industry as a whole.
After much thought and deliberation, the committee chose to honor the following games with induction into the the World Video Game Hall of Fame:
- Grand Theft Auto III, Rockstar’s operatic open world crime saga.
- The Legend of Zelda, Link’s inaugural adventure and one of the first open world RPGs.
- The Oregon Trail, a revolutionary educational game that also taught a whole generation of kids about dysentery and cholera.
- The Sims, Will Wright’s “virtual dollhouse” is one of the most popular PC games of all time.
- Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega’s blue blur starred in several classic side-scrollers and served as a foil to Mario in the 90s.
- Space Invaders, the originator of the iconic “Invader” design and one of the first space shooters.
The World Video Game Hall of Fame was established in 2015, and this year’s class will stand alongside last year’s class, Tetris, Super Mario Bros., Pong, Doom, World of Warcraft, and Pac-Man, as some of the best that video gaming has to offer.
A few days ago, I attempted to play oddsmaker for this year’s finalists, and I’m happy to say that I pegged three of this year’s inductees as “Sure Things” and two more as “Coin Flips.”
Nine other games, Elite, Final Fantasy, John Madden Football, Minecraft, Nurburgring, Pokemon Red/Blue, Sid Meier’s Civilization, Street Fighter II, and Tomb Raider, came up short during the induction process. But all of them will get another chance next year, and the Hall of Fame is already accepting nominations for their Class of 2017.
The World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016 will be on permanent view in the Strong Museum’s “eGameRevolution” exhibit. And congratulations to all designers and developers who helped bring each of them to life.