Four influential video games have been inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame: “Wii Sports,” “The Last of Us,” “Computer Space,” and “Barbie Fashion Designer.”
The four iconic games beat out other finalists like “Angry Birds” and “FIFA International Soccer,” according to a May 4 news release from the Strong Museum of Play, which hosts the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
The games will be put on display at the museum’s facility in Rochester, New York, according to the news release.
The release cited each game’s unique contributions to video game history. “Barbie Fashion Designer,” released in 1996, “proved that a computer game targeted to girls could succeed,” according to the release. The game sold more than 500,000 copies in two months and sparked conversations about gendered stereotypes in gaming, says the release.
“Computer Space,” meanwhile, was “the first commercial video game,” according to the news release. The 1971 coin-operated game “proved that video games could reach an audience outside of computer labs,” says the release. Its creators later established video game giant, Atari Inc.
“The Last of Us,” which was adapted into a popular miniseries by HBO in 2023, was named the game of the year by over 200 publications when it was released in 2013, according to the release.
The game “remains popular because of its quality of gameplay and strength of story,” said the museum’s video game curator Lindsey Kurano in the release.
The final addition to the hall of fame is “Wii Sports,” which used motion-based technology to allow players to virtually throw a bowling ball or play tennis from the comfort of their living room.
Aryol Prater, research specialist for Black play and culture at the museum, said, “With more than 82 million copies sold, Wii Sports is one of the best-selling video games of all time, but its true influence comes from the fact that it made gamers out of millions of people around the world who’d never thought about playing one before.”
“It became a gaming phenomenon as news stories proliferated about the game getting diverse groups of people – including those at many senior centers – off their couches and breaking a sweat with virtual bowling, tennis, and more,” he said.