When it comes to making a mark in the gaming world, there’s nothing better than joining the roster of classics in the Strong Museum in Rochester, New York – a sign of prestige which means that these games have, in one way or another, created a legacy. In 2018, Sonic the Hedgehog and Space Invaders became members of the video game hall of fame, proving their vast reach and wide audience since the year of their inception.
Strong Museum houses the world’s most influential and popular games from across the globe. It honors remarkable titles, be it for consoles, handheld devices, smartphones, and computer, that had touched the lives of gamers and the pop culture. Needless to say, being one of the inductees in the museum’s World Video Game Hall of Fame doesn’t just mean the game gets to be displayed alongside other world-class performers, but it also proves its impact on the society as well as celebrates the developers.
Those that belong to this group are Super Mario Bros, World of Warcraft, Tetris, Pac-Man, Doom, and Pong, which were all inducted in 2015, the year when the world video game hall of fame started. To determine the annual nominees, the public is encouraged to vote but game scholars and journalists will choose the inductees.
According to the museum, only games that have enjoyed a steady popularity in the market and have had an influence over the industry and the society will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Only recently, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Sims, the Legend of Zelda, Oregon Trail, Grand Theft Auto III, and Sonic Invaders were accepted.
Oregon Trail is the oldest among the group of games that was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018. It was released in 1971, initially meant to teach children about the unfortunate history of the pioneers in 19th century. It gained traction for its unconventional and oftentimes merciless levels that were near-impossible to finish. Add to that the unapologetic, and quite out of the ordinary “Game Over” message it flashed if you failed a level.
When The Sims was released in 2000, people were so hooked into the game that it sold over 200 million copies around the world. It is a game where players assume a role in a household filled with AI characters. It eventually became one of the best-selling games of all time.
Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda became the second title under Nintendo that got accepted into the Hall of Fame. This game, released in 1986, was originally for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The role-playing game’s world is loosely inspired by video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s childhood that was filled with fun experience in the caves and fields.
Grand Theft Auto III
Although the chaotic gangster game Grand Theft Auto was criticized for allegedly encouraging bad behavior among players, that didn’t stop the public from actually playing the game. Some politicians deemed the game disturbing, but obviously the game went on to be a bigger franchise.
Space Invaders, created in 1978 by Taito, is regarded as the pioneer of the shoot-’em-up genre. So basically, being inducted in the world video game hall of fame was a no-brainer. The old school game has a simple yet effective premise: You are in control of a space ship that must blow the enemy’s space ships which are trying to invade your planet. To do this, you need to shoot at the invaders but you must also be careful as they also fire in retaliation.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sega’s game Sonic the Hedgehog was meant to rival Super Mario, released by Nintendo. When it was first introduced, its groundbreaking graphics became a fan-favorite, all thanks to coder Yuji Naka. Not only that, the main character Sonic, a hedgehog that is extremely fast, became so iconic that it was even reported that it was the first video game that was used in balloons during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, said Shannon Symonds, Strong’s associate curator.
As a result, Sonic’s face became all too familiar with the viewing public at the time, even if they haven’t played the game. After the game, comics, TV shows, and more than 20 spin-offs and games inspired by Sonic were released.