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The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #91: Madden NFL Football (Series)

Did you miss The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time’s Introduction? Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100.

A gambler will tell you that they believe Lady Luck will reward them for respecting a streak, and a professional football player will tell you that he doesn’t believe in the Madden Curse. The former is a wishful thinker, and the latter is a liar.

The sports world is filled with superstitions. As a Little Leaguer growing up, I could show you what a “rally cap” was and explain the importance of never touching the baselines. I understood completely why retired Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland refused to change his underwear during a 12-game winning streak in 2011. I’ve even got strong opinions on what you say to a pitcher in the middle of a perfect game. The answer is you don’t say anything, because talking to him at all is bad luck.

For decades, the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx served as a well-known precursor to the Madden Curse. Those who believe in the Jinx are convinced that any player who appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated will experience some form of terrible luck, even though a handful of high-profile hits have obscured the long list of players who avoided the Jinx over the years. If the sheer number of cover subjects doesn’t dissuade you (more than 3,000 issues have been produced since the magazine’s launch in 1954), the illustrious career of Michael Jordan should. The basketball great has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated a record 50 times, and he’s had the kind of career that other athletes dream about… not counting his detour through Minor League Baseball and Space Jam.

But what of the Madden Curse? Although you’ll find a few executives at Electronic Arts who enjoy hyping up the current year’s game with talk of the Curse, most of them like to downplay it. In 2008, the then-President of EA Sports, Peter Moore, said, “I guess when you look back there’s a grain of truth to the Madden Curse.” At the time, he wasn’t wrong. Five of the last six offensive players on the cover succumbed to some horrible calamity. The publishing giant even considered producing a movie based on the Madden Curse in 2010, though that project seems to have fallen off the radar in the years since.

And that’s probably because the Madden Curse is as mythical as a wild turducken. (more…)

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Nominations now being accepted for the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017

After inducting Grand Theft Auto III, The Legend of Zelda, The Oregon Trail, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders into video gaming’s inner circle last year, the World Video Game Hall of Fame is ready to begin accepting nominations for its Class of 2017.

Any game is eligible to be enshrined in the World Video Game Hall of Fame, and gamers of all stripes are encouraged to visit the Nominate A Game page to submit any title for nomination that fits the Selection 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. A game may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.

All submissions for nominations must be made by March 6, and this year’s finalists will be announced on March 29.

The World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 will be selected by an internal committee on the advice of an international team of “journalists, scholars, and other individuals familiar with the history of video games and their role in society.” This year’s inductees will be announced as part of a special ceremony that’ll be held at The Strong Museum in Rochester, NY on May 4.

Posted in 3DS, DS, Mobile, News, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Retro, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time: An Introduction and The Top 100

Visit our “Best Games” Hub Page every week to find original essays discussing each title from “The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” and their place in gaming history.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

Is it even possible to select the greatest video games of all time in a scientific way? Do you just throw the question to so-called experts and let them hash it out in a no-holds-barred debate? Or is there some way to create a “Video Game Canon” that the wide-ranging community of developers, critics, and players can all agree on?

Probably not. But we can try.

Since gaming’s earliest days, dozens of publications have tried to sort through the noise and compile their own list of “The Best Video Games of All Time.” By analyzing all of these attempts at ranking the greatest games and combining them into a single list, we can figure out which games can rightly be called “The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time.” (more…)

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It’s In Your Blood: A History of Horror Games (Part Five)

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The survival horror genre has traveled a long road since its infancy. What began with a frantic retreat from a pursuing dinosaur eventually gave way to ghosts, mutants, beasts, and countless hordes of zombies. Alas, the genre’s fiercest foes may have been those it relied on most: the developers overly reliant on sequels and spinoffs, and the gamers who would soon lose interest.

For those who’ve been following this series from the beginning, we’ve previously reached back to the birth of survival horror, charted its rise in popularity and a sudden onslaught of sequels, as well as its golden age. So now, join us for a look at survival horror’s last gasp in the spotlight… before it’s currently-ongoing resurrection, of course. (more…)

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It Came From 19XX: Silent Hill

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Horror games have changed in recent years. As “walking simulators” like Layers of Fear and hide-and-seek tributes such as Outlast have risen in popularity, old-school survival horror titles have become increasingly scarce. So join us, zombies and ghouls, as we revisit one of horror gaming’s classics in time for Halloween. (more…)

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It’s In Your Blood: A History of Horror Games (Part Four)

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We’ve all been scared at one time or another. While “normal” people may try to avoid it at all costs, the rest of us actively seek out that primitive, guttural thrill. Horror movies do this well enough, but why bother watching when you can participate? There’s nothing like a good survival horror game, from Dead Space to Alien: isolation — but diehard fear junkies know the genre began much earlier. If that’s news to you, it’s okay! Just sit down and quiet yourselves, boys and girls, because class is in session.

After looking back at the birth of survival horror, the rise in popularity, and a huge wave of sequels, today, we’ll cover the next chapter in the genre’s evolution — one some would even describe as the death of true survival horror video games. (more…)

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World Video Game Hall of Fame Class of 2016 announced: Legend of Zelda, GTA3, Sonic, Space Invaders, Oregon Trail, The Sims

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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.

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Handicapping the 2016 World Video Game Hall of Fame Finalists

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We’re just a few days away from learning which games will be inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame this year. In 2015, Tetris, Super Mario Bros., Pong, Doom, World of Warcraft, and Pac-Man were selected as the inaugural class by the institution’s induction committee. The Hall’s Class of 2016 will be announced on Thursday, May 5, and five or six games are once again expected to rise above the other finalists.

But which of the 15 finalists will be honored this year? Using the Hall’s induction criteria as a guide, I can think we can determine the odds of which games will make it in and which will have to wait until next year. (more…)

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