The World Video Game Hall of Fame has welcomed four new games into the fold, as the inductees from the Class of 2019 were announced this morning in a special ceremony. This year, three games that practically defined gaming in the 1990s lead the way, while a groundbreaking text adventure from the 1970s also made the cut.
If you’ve ever used a PC in the last 30 years, you’re likely very familiar with Windows Solitaire. The card game was originally made available by Microsoft in 1990 to help Windows users hone their mouse skills, and it’s been a staple of the operating system ever since. No less ubiquitous was 1992’s Mortal Kombat, which helped usher in the ESRB after a congressional hearing was convened to debate the merits of it’s gory presentation. That same year, Nintendo’s Super Mario Kart proved that young players were just as ruthless, as the consolemaker introduced the franchise’s cutthroat multiplayer mode to the world.
Those three titles were inducted alongside William Crowther’s Colossal Cave Adventure, which is well-known as the first text adventure (and thus, the forerunner of the entire adventure genre).
Curators from the Strong Museum’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games, which operates the World Video Game Hall of Fame, had a lot to say about this year’s inductees.
“The best games fire the imagination,” said Jon-Paul Dyson, the Director of the Strong Museum’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games. “Anyone who first typed a command like ‘Get Lamp’ into Colossal Cave Adventure could see the power of electronic games to create magical worlds of the imagination.”
“Windows Solitaire proved that sometimes analog games can be even more popular in the digital world and demonstrated that a market existed for games that appeal to people of all types,” said Jeremy Saucier, the Assistant Vice President for Electronic Games and Interpretation. “In many ways, it helped pave the way for the growth of the casual gaming market that remains so popular today.”
Digital Games Curator Andrew Borman said: “Beyond its controversial content and role in triggering debate about the role of violent video games in society, Mortal Kombat’s compelling gameplay, iconic characters, and many sequels have kept players coming back again and again.”
“Super Mario Kart truly excelled as a social game that appealed to players of all skill levels, especially with its engaging multi-player settings,” said Julia Novakovic, an Archivist. “It invited friends, family, and gaming fans of all ages along for an unforgettable ride that has made it the longest-running racing series in gaming history.”
Eight other finalists (King’s Candy Crush, Atari’s Centipede, Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution, Cyan Worlds’s Myst, Sega’s NBA 2K, Sid Meier’s Civilization, Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Valve’s Half-Life) will have to try their luck again next year, but you can put your support behind them now as Public Nominations for the Class of 2020 opened after the ceremony.