ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The inductees for this year’s class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame were announced Thursday morning at The Strong National Museum of Play.

This year’s class includes Ms. Pac-Man, Dance Dance Revolution, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Sid Meier’s Civilization.

These four iconic games were chosen among the 12 finalists announced in March. The ones that didn’t make the cut this year include:

  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Candy Crush Saga
  • Minesweeper
  • NBA Jam
  • PaRappa the Rapper
  • Resident Evil
  • Rogue
  • Words with Friends

The World Video Game Hall of Fame received thousands of nominations for consideration for the 2022 class and fans voted for their favorite finalists in March as part of a “Player’s Choice” ballot.

Officials said the three games that receive the most public votes formed one ballot and joined the other ballots submitted by members of the International Selection Advisory Committee, which is made up of journalists and scholars familiar with the history of video games and their role in society.

Like every year, the games were judged based on four categories:

  • Icon-status: the game is widely recognized and remembered
  • Longevity: the game is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over time
  • Geographical reach: the game meets the above criteria across international boundaries
  • 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

About the inductees

About Ms. Pacman: Capitalizing on the success of the iconic Pac-Man arcade game, Midway launched Ms. Pac-Man in 1981. The sequel featured more sophisticated mazes, smarter opponents, and new challenges. It also reimagined the title character as female to acknowledge the girls and women who loved playing the first game. With its wide appeal, Ms. Pac-Man sold 125,000 cabinets within five years of its release, making it one of the five best-selling arcade games of all time, behind previous inductees Pac-ManSpace Invaders, and Street Fighter II.

Says Julia Novakovic, senior archivist, “Ms. Pac-Man promoted and signaled the broadening of game play across the genders. There was nothing inherently gendered about early video games, but the coin-op industry certainly advertised them that way. By offering the first widely recognized female video game character, Ms. Pac-Man represented a turn in the cultural conversation about women’s place in the arcade as well as in society at large.”

About Dance Dance Revolution: Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) took Japanese arcades by storm in 1998, challenging players to use their balance and dexterity to step to the beat of popular music. The fast-paced game spread quickly to arcades across the world, and Konami spun out a home version of the game on the Sony Playstation the following year. More than 100 versions of the game have been produced since 1998, and Dance Dance Revolution helped to pave the way for other iconic music games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

“As Dance Dance Revolution’s name implies, it truly provided a revolution for the music game scene,” says Lindsey Kurano, video game curator. “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.”

About The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TimeReleased for the Nintendo 64 gaming console in 1998, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time defined what a 3D action video game could be, influencing countless games that followed. The game’s combination of storytelling, puzzle-solving, and combat earned Ocarina of Time multiple “Game of the Year” awards in 1998. The game sold more than 7.6 million copies worldwide, and it continues to be recognized by players and critics alike as one of the best video games ever made.

Says Andrew Borman, digital games curator, “Even today, developers throughout the world credit The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as influencing the way they create games. The game’s sprawling 3D world, fluid combat, complex puzzles, and time-shifting story combined to inspire a wonder in players that they have never forgotten.”

About Sid Meier’s Civilization: Sid Meier’s Civilization became one of the most influential simulation and strategy games of all time after its release in 1991. Large in scope, the game invited players to develop their own empire over centuries of time, and the title launched a series of successor games including, in recent years, Civilization: Beyond Earth and Civilization VI.  With more than 50 million units sold, the popularity of the Civilization series disproves the common perception that it is always more fun to destroy than to create.

“The addictive nature of the game, which creator Sid Meier himself called the ‘one more turn’ quality, and its nearly unlimited choices that prevented repetitive gameplay, earned Civilization recognition from Computer Gaming World as the best video game of all time in 1996,” says Jon-Paul Dyson, director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic games. “Altogether—and given the extraordinarily long periods of play the game afforded—players have engaged with the Civilization series for more than a billion hours.”

The World Video Game Hall of Fame has inducted more than 30 games since its inaugural class in 2015.

Past inductees

Class of 2021:

  • Animal Crossing
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Starcraft
  • Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Class of 2020:

  • Bejeweled
  • Centipede
  • King’s Quest
  • Minecraft

Class of 2019:

  • Colossal Cave Adventure
  • Microsoft Solitaire
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Super Mario Kart

Class of 2018:

  • Final Fantasy VII
  • John Madden Football
  • Spacewar!
  • Tomb Raider

Class of 2017:

  • Donkey Kong
  • Halo: Combat Evolved
  • Pokémon Red and Green
  • Street Fighter II

Class of 2016:

  • Grand Theft Auto III
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Space Invaders
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • The Oregon Trail
  • The Sims

Class of 2015:

  • DOOM
  • Pac-Man
  • Pong
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Tetris
  • World of Warcraft

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