The World Video Game Hall of Fame unveiled on Thursday its latest group of inductees — Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Ms. Pac-Man, Dance Dance Revolution and Sid Meier’s Civilization.
Ocarina of Time, which won several game of the year awards in 1998, was praised for its storytelling, sprawling 3D world, complex puzzles and combat mechanics. Andrew Borman, digital games curator at Rochester, New York’s Strong National Museum of Play, home of the hall of fame, said today’s video game developers point to Ocarina as an influence.
Pac-Man spinoff Ms. Pac-Man gave players more-sophisticated mazes, smarter opponents, new challenges and the first widely recognized female video game character, according to the hall of fame. “Ms. Pac-Man promoted and signaled the broadening of game play across the genders,” senior archivist Julia Novakovic said. The game marked a turning point in the “cultural conversation about women’s place in the arcade as well as in society at large,” she said.
Dance Dance Revolution helped lay the groundwork for other music games, like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, according to the hall of fame. “It truly provided a revolution for the music game scene,” video game curator Lindsey Kurano said. “Music has been an integral part of human life since prehistoric times, so it comes as no surprise that DDR enjoyed a unique popularity that spanned ages, genders, and regions.”
The hall of fame called Sid Meier’s Civilization “one of the most influential simulation and strategy games of all time.” It also earned the title of best video game of all time from Computer Gaming World in 1996. The game gave players an almost unlimited number of choices, which made each play-through different and unique.
Created in 2015, The World Video Game Hall of Fame recognizes “individual electronic games of all types — arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile — that have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and society in general,” its site says.
Doom, Pac-Man, Pong, Super Mario Bros., Tetris and World of Warcraft were the first games to be inducted.
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