This month saw the announcement of The Strong video game Hall of Fame inductees for 2019. The Strong is an American Museum that prides itself on being the world’s foreword on all things ‘play’ related.
With a collection that spans over 60,000 items of video games, board games, toys, dolls and literature. In 2015 the museum began compiling a comprehensive video game Hall of Fame featuring classics Super Mario Bros, Pac Man and Pong.
The latest games to receive the honour are Super Mario Kart, Colossal Cave Adventure, Microsoft Solitaire and Mortal Kombat. The quartet beat out competition from eight other nominees to become immortalised in the Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame Nominees
The Strong takes into account games from all eras and platforms when deliberating on their finalists. A wide variety of titles that impacted the history of gaming were shortlisted to twelve considerations.
The finalists that missed out on this year’s nominations were Candy Crush Saga, Centipede, Dance Dance Revolution, Half-Life, Myst, NBA 2K, Sid Meier’s Civilization, and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
If you would like to submit your own nominee for consideration for the 2020 Hall of Fame, The Strong are accepting open nominations via their website.
Colossal Cave Adventure
On to the first of the games that did make it into the Hall of Fame. 1976 interactive text adventure, Colossal Cave Adventure. The Strong honoured the game for helping launch the video game industry altogether.
“Anyone who first typed a command like ‘get lamp’ into Colossal Cave Adventure could see the power of electronic games to create magical worlds of the imagination.” – Jon-Paul Dyson, director at The Strong
Colossal Cave Adventure was the most primitive form of a text adventure containing no graphics or imagery whatsoever. The game was celebrated upon release for its immersive world building and engaging narrative structure.
When Mortal Kombat first launched it echoed throughout all ranks of society. Sparking the debate of video game violence that went all the way to a congressional hearing in 1994.
The result of that official hearing was that games were ‘not just for kids’ changing the landscape of future game design. 18+ titles are commonplace in the modern era and a lot of that culture owes to the original Mortal Kombat.
Beyond the social impact, Mortal Kombat also offered cutting-edge live-action sprites and tight, balanced gameplay. The game made its mark for the gory content but proved the series’ staying power with its quality standard.
A digital version on Solitaire was first included on PC’s running Windows 3.0 back in 1990. The game had timeless appeal and was immediately a hit for all ages and demographics.
“The game proved that sometimes analogue games can be even more popular in the digital world. It helped pave the way for the growth of the casual gaming market.” – Jeremy Saucier, Assistant Vice President at The Strong
Solitaire became a staple of Window’s PC’s and has since been included on over a billion machines. Windows estimate that in 2018 alone over 35 billion games of solitaire were played on their computers.
Super Mario Kart
The final inductee to the 2019 Hall of Fame was the game that launched Super Mario as a multi-genre mogul. Super Mario Kart. The first entry in the Mario Kart franchise that pioneered a new sub-genre of racing game.
“Super Mario Kart truly excelled as a social game. It invited friends, family, and gaming fans of all ages along for an unforgettable ride.” – Julia Novakovic, archivist at The Strong.
Mario had made cameos in various sporting games on Nintendo consoles but Super Mario Kart quickly became the standard. The Mario Kart franchise has gone on to become Nintendo’s third best-selling franchise of all time. Behind only the two industry leaders Pokemon and Super Mario.