Please welcome the Freshmen class to the World Video Game Hall of Fame. The Strong National Museum of Play recently welcomed six games (DOOM, Pac-Man, Pong, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and World of Warcraft) into their World Video Game Hall of Fame. These six games are not just timeless, cultural staples but have as a whole introduced billions to gaming. Whether they saved the industry, popularized gaming, or made niche gaming genres accessible to the average person, each of the six inductees has made an undeniable impact on the world of gaming.
DOOM popularized first-person shooter genre. Not only was it successful commercially (which is important!) but technologically it was a pioneer in aspects of design and distribution as well.
Pac-Man popularized the video game to the masses. A simple objective and easy gameplay have made Pac-Man the best-selling arcade game of all time.
Pong helped launch Atari into a prominent role in the industry and was one of the first games to gain wide-spread mass appeal. How much more accessible does it get?
Super Mario Bros. launched the most popular video game franchise, made Mario a household name, and helped Nintendo revive the American home video game industry in the mid-1980s.
Tetris was made for an international audience. Launching in the Soviet Union as a mathematical puzzle game, Tetris had soon crossed cultural boundaries and become a global puzzle phenomenon.
World of Warcraft (WOW) changed the definition of online gaming communities. As a game for both experts and casual gamers, WOW has lowered the barrier to allow many curious players to embark on their first “massively multiplayer online role-playing game” (MMORPG) journey.
What do these six game have in common? Each of the six not only impacted the video game industry commercially, culturally and technologically, but were each pioneers in their own right, paving the way for games released to this day. Who knows where we would be without them.
Photos Courtesy of The Strong®, Rochester, New York