The World Video Game Hall of Fame, part of the National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, has inducted several classics into its lineup each year since 2015. Every entry so far has been more than deserving, and the 2022 lineup of games is no different: Ms. Pac-Man, Dance Dance Revolution, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Sid Meier’s Civilization, have made it in, each one fulfilling the required criteria (icon-status, longevity, geographical reach, and influence) to become immortalized.
Ocarina of Time joins the original NES Legend of Zelda in the hall, while Ms. Pac-Man joins her husband’s 1980 arcade classic (both DDR and Civ are the first from their franchises in the hall, naturally). Each is venerated for different reasons — Ms. Pac-Man for its gendered role in the gaming landscape and evolution of Pac-Man’s design, DDR for practically birthing the rhythm game genre whole cloth, Civ for its massive influence on the strategy and simulation genres, and Ocarina of Time for being… Ocarina of Time. “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,” says digital games curator Andrew Borman.
Of course, there were several nominees who didn’t make it this year, namely Assassin’s Creed, Candy Crush Saga, Minesweeper, NBA Jam, PaRappa The Rapper, Resident Evil, Rogue, and Words With Friends. It’s a shame not every nominee can make it (I spot at least three games here that are wholly deserving of entry), but there’s always next year. Congratulations to the original devs of the games that made it in — you’ve built something that will stand the test of time.
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