The concept of a Hall of Fame for video games may seem trivial to some, but the recognition of influential games and creators is crucial for the preservation and celebration of the industry’s history. The Strong, a New York-based museum known as the “museum of play,” curates a Hall of Fame that highlights a diverse array of video games, tabletop games, and toys. What sets this Hall of Fame apart is its inclusion of not only commercial products like Dungeons & Dragons and Wii Sports but also unconventional items like sand, sidewalk chalk, and the humble cardboard box. These choices reflect a broader understanding of play and creativity beyond the traditional confines of the industry.

Each year, The Strong’s Hall of Fame inducts a select group of games that have made a significant impact on the gaming landscape. This year’s additions include classics such as Atari’s Asteroids, the original Resident Evil, Myst, SimCity, and Ultima. While some may question the inclusion of these titles, there is no denying their influence on the medium. Myst, for example, revolutionized CD-ROM gaming and became the best-selling PC game of the nineties. SimCity popularized simulation and city-building games, laying the foundation for titles like The Sims. Ultima’s contribution to the fantasy roleplaying genre cannot be overstated, with its influence felt in games like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy.

The induction of these iconic games into The Strong’s Hall of Fame ensures that their contributions to gaming will be recognized and celebrated for years to come. The permanent exhibition in the museum in Rochester, NY, serves as a reminder of the evolution of video games and the pioneers who shaped the industry. With over 40 games added to the Hall of Fame since its inception in 2015, the collection continues to grow, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich history of gaming.

As the Hall of Fame expands, the question arises: what other games deserve recognition for their impact on the medium? Titles like Doom, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, and Tomb Raider are often mentioned as potential additions. However, there is also room for unconventional choices that capture the essence of play and innovation, much like the inclusion of “sand” and “stick” in the Hall of Fame. The video game world is vast and diverse, and there are countless gems waiting to be unearthed and celebrated.

The importance of recognizing and celebrating the most influential games in the industry cannot be overstated. The Strong’s Hall of Fame stands as a testament to the creativity, innovation, and impact of video games throughout history. By honoring these icons, we pay tribute to the past, present, and future of gaming, ensuring that the medium continues to evolve and inspire generations to come.

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