The Strong World Video Game Hall of Fame released its 2016 nominations for this year’s entries into one of the game industry’s highest honors. This is the second year for nominations in the World Video Game Hall of Fame, as officiated by the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y.
I’m one of the voters among the panel of 27 judges. Last year, the inductees into the hall of fame were — chosen on the basis of iconic status, longevity, geographic reach, and influence — Pong, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, Doom, and World of Warcraft.
This year, the nominees include the sci-fi game Elite; the fantasy role-playing adventure Final Fantasy; the car-stealing mayhem of Grand Theft Auto III; the sports icon John Madden Football; the legendary fantasy game The Legend of Zelda; the user-generated content trailblazer Minecraft; the racing game Nurbürgring; the pioneer game The Oregon Trail; the handheld favorite Pokemon Red and Green; the empire-building game Sid Meier’s Civilization; the people simulation game The Sims; the speed demon title Sonic the Hedgehog; the iconic Space Invaders; the fighting game Street Fighter II; and the adventure romp featuring Lara Croft, Tomb Raider.
The eligible titles include games from all platforms, including arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile. They need to show a sustained popularity, influence on the game industry, and influence in pop culture.
Inductees are selected on the basis of the following criteria:
1. Icon-status: the game is widely recognized and remembered.
2. Longevity: the game is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over time.
3. Geographical reach: the game meets the above criteria across international boundaries.
4. Influence: The game has exerted significant influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society in general. A game may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.