Donkey Kong and More Inducted into Video Game Hall of Fame
Ron Perillo / 3 weeks ago
The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York held the 2017 World Video Game Hall of Fame awards recently on May 4th, Thursday. The Video Game Hall of Fame recognizes electronic games of all types including console, PC, handheld, mobile, and arcade games.
Previous inductees into the Video Game Hall of Fame include Doom (1993), Pac-Man (1980), Pong (1972), World of Warcraft (2004), Tetris (1984), The Legend of Zelda (1986), Grand Theft Auto III (2001), The Oregon Trail (1971), The Sims (2000), Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), Space Invaders (1978) and Super Mario Bros.(1985).
Nominees must meet four basic criteria to be considered: icon status, longevity, geographical reach and influence. During the event, the committee selected four video game classics, drawn from a group of twelve nominees. Two of the inductees are holdover from previous years and two are from the pool of new nominees.
Donkey Kong (1981)
The arcade classic Donkey Kong from 1981 features the first appearance of not only the popular gorilla, but also of Mario and Princess Toadstool. Donkey Kong is also the very first video game designed by the now legendary Shigeru Miyamoto. Nintendo head Hiroshi Yamauchi approached Miyamoto to create a game after the company’s Radarscope arcade game flopped.
“Without Donkey Kong there would be no Super Mario Bros.” says Jon-Paul Dyson, director of International Center for the History of Electronic Games. “but Donkey Kong is also about much more than one character. Its overarching narrative of love and its vibrant graphics brought the game to life in a way that few other games could in the early 1980s.”
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (1991)
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior is another arcade classic that dominated following the arcade boom of the 1980s. The game extended the life of arcades that were dwindling when it came out, triggering a renaissance in the 1990s. The World Warrior sold more than 60,000 cabinets worldwide and 140,000 more when the ‘Champion Edition’ came out. It featured detailed graphics and a diverse cast of well-designed characters. It also had a major impact in advancing video game controls, introducing precise 8-way input that was extremely responsive.
Pokemon Red and Green (1996)
Pokemon became a cultural phenomenon in Japan and around the world when it was released for the Nintendo Game Boy in 1996. The objective of the game is to collect 151 unique monsters, each with their own abilities, strengths and weaknesses. As of 2014, the Pokemon franchise has sold more than 260 million copies. Pokemon eventually spun-off to different media including movies and television series which are successful as well. Even items such as Pokemon trading cards have sold over 21.5 billion.
Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
Halo: Combat Evolved is the most recently launched title to be inducted in the 2017 batch. The game was the driving force for the Xbox console’s success in 2001, giving Microsoft a foothold in the games console business dominated by Sony. Halo also changed everyone’s perception of a first-person shooter game, which were exclusively for PCs until that point. First person games required a mouse and a keyboard for accuracy, but Halo demonstrated that a joystick works too. The game eventually goes on to sell over six million copies with several successful spin-offs as well.