By Operation Rainfall Contributor / June 12th, 2015
A few days ago, The Strong National Museum of Play announced the Inaugural World Video Game Hall of Fame inductee class. Out of 15 finalists, six were chosen. You can view the list here. As both a fan of video games and as a historian and history buff, I was a happy man. Video game history has always fascinated me, and if I ever get the opportunity to be part of the Hall of Fame selection some day, I will gladly accept it. OK, back on topic. I thought it would be neat to make some predictions and explain which games are automatic write-ins for the World Video Game Hall of Fame and which games should be in the World Video Game Hall of Fame, but may or may not ever get into the exclusive club. As a reminder, if your favorite game is not mentioned by me, please remember that there are hundreds of titles that deserve to be in the Hall of Fame someday and it’s impossible to list them all here.
These are five games that will automatically be in the Hall of Fame, the question is when these games will be inducted. As a bonus, I also am going to forecast when these games will be in the Hall itself.
Pokémon: Whether you were one of the kids infected with Pokémania during the late 90s and early 2000s or one of the adults who had no clue why people loved Pokémon, it is an easy write-in to the Hall. Pokémon was one of the 15 finalists this year, and I guarantee it will be one of the finalists. The franchise is still going strong today and has sold millions of copies worldwide and has tons of merchandise. It gave the Game Boy a huge boost in sales late in the handheld’s life. Pokémon was so popular to the point where schools officially banned it and teachers were more than happy to take your Pokémon games and cards away if you had them within the building confines. It will be interesting if the Hall inducts the original Red and Green versions, the international Red and Blue versions or both.
Class Prediction: 2016
Sonic The Hedgehog: If Super Mario Bros. is in the Hall of Fame, it makes sense for Sonic The Hedgehog to eventually join his long-time rival. Sonic the Hedgehog was the franchise to define the SEGA Genesis and it gave SEGA a mascot to compete against Nintendo and Mario. Sonic helped SEGA gain market share at the time from Nintendo’s grasp and started the classic Nintendo vs. SEGA War. This war promoted some aggressive, yet healthy competition. While Sonic has had his ups and downs, the “fastest thing alive” has been influential to the industry as a whole. Sonic was also one of the 15 finalists for 2015 and should once again be a finalist next year.
Class Prediction: 2017
Metroid: Metroid made a contribution to the industry in two different ways. First, the game pioneered the idea of exploring across a huge world full of long corridors and sub-sections that later became part of the phrase “Metroidvania.” Metroid is notable for being a non-linear experience from beginning to end as it is up to the player to explore the map, find the upgrades, defeat the bosses and get to the end objective. There are still games coming out today using Metroid as a influence for their game design, the most recent example being Axiom Verge. Metroid also was the first notable game to have a strong female protagonist, Samus Aran. Samus paved the way for female protagonists in the industry and went against the damsel-in-distress cliché. All female video game characters owe their gratitude to Samus. Metroid is my dark horse pick for next year, and I believe Metroid will be inducted next year.
Class Prediction: 2016
Street Fighter II: Street Fighter II defined the 90s as one of the premier fighting games in both arcades and at home. How many fighting games were widely popular before Street Fighter? Not many. Street Fighter continues to be one of the most popular tournament fighters across the globe. The game influenced many fighting games after it with some even using the exact same fighting style. There has been many different iterations of Street Fighter, especially for Street Fighter II and Street Fighter IV. As the rival to Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter II became a major player for the fighting genre.
Class Prediction: 2017 or 2018.
Dragon Quest: Dragon Quest is one of the founding fathers of the modern role-playing game. Dragon Quest made a huge impact on both the industry and in Japan. While it took some time to adopt some fans internationally, Dragon Quest set the standard for many role-playing games after it. It set the bar for storytelling, how to build a traditional experience system and item management. Future games in the series introduced the concept of having a party, abilities and expanded previous mentioned concepts.
Class Prediction: 2017
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