This years’ inductees into the World Video Game Hall Of Fame have been announced, honouring two childhood favourites and two classic franchises.
The World Video Game Hall Of Fame is located in New York at the Strong Museum. This year, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, StarCraft, and Microsoft Flight Simulator will all be added, alongside inductees from the last six years.
The finalists that fell short this year include Call Of Duty, FIFA, Guitar Hero, and Portal. Each winner was given a brief introduction from industry professionals, explaining why they were best placed for the World Video Game Hall Of Fame.
“The freedom of play in Animal Crossing gave the game wider gender and age appeal than many other video game titles of its time,” says Research Historian Racquel Gonzales. “The low stakes of Animal Crossing also allowed people to play at their own leisure without penalty. These elements may help explain why its latest installment proved such a huge hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, when everyone was searching for a little neighborly sociability.”
Speaking about Microsoft Flight Simulator, Jeremy Saucier, assistant vice president for interpretation and electronic games said, “It’s hard to overestimate what a groundbreaking program Microsoft Flight Simulator was when it debuted in 1983. For the first time, amateur and professional aviators could navigate the skies—without ever leaving home. And the joy of flight is universal, which is perhaps why Microsoft Flight Simulator has continued to captivate gamers for decades.”
StarCraft also received the accolade, with the following explanation from Andrew Borman, digital games curator at The Strong, “StarCraft added a new twist to the strategy game formula while leading a revolution in multiplayer gaming. It’s regarded as one of the best real-time strategy games of all time and significantly impacted many of the real-time strategy games that have followed in the past two decades.”
Says Archivist Julia Novakovic: “Between the still-growing video game franchise (including a Google Earth tie-in) and the game’s recent run as a show on Netflix, Carmen Sandiego is as recognizable a character as ever. Is she an evil villain or a misunderstood genius? You’ll have to track her across the globe to find out!”
Over the years, many games have been inducted in the World Video Game Hall Of Fame, such as Minecraft, Super Mario Kart, Tomb Raider, and The Sims. According to The Strong Museum’s website, the honour celebrates games “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”.