Talk about contested conventions! What are the best video games of all time? That divisive topic, which used to get us banned from our best friends’ (or cousins’) rumpus rooms, is now the subject of a national vote — the only kind that matters, right?
Last year, the Strong, aka the National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y., welcomed the inaugural class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame when it inducted Doom, Pac-Man, Pong, Super Mario Bros., Tetris and World of Warcraft. The institution already was home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and the National Toy Hall of Fame.
This year’s class now is taking shape, and in fact voting is drawing to a close soon: The 2016 inductees will be announced May 5. The nominees you can choose from include: Elite, Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto III, John Madden Football, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, Nürburgring, The Oregon Trail, Pokemon Red and Green, Sid Meier’s Civilization, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, Space Invaders, Street Fighter II and Tomb Raider.
Hey — I’ve heard of all but one of them (guess which), and played most. A lot.
“These 15 World Video Game Hall of Fame finalists span decades, gaming platforms, and countries of origin—but what they all have in common is their undeniable impact on the world of gaming and popular culture,” said Jon-Paul C. Dyson, director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games, in a statement. “Whether it’s an iconic game like The Legend of Zelda, a pioneering educational title like The Oregon Trail, or an innovator like Elite, which forever changed the design and development of other games, they’re among the most influential games of all time.”
Is your favorite game not an inductee or nominee yet? You can already nominate a title for the 2017 awards. Criteria for consideration include a game’s status as an icon, longevity, geographical reach and influence in the games industry and wider pop culture.
So, who are you voting for?