If passing fads like rock and roll or baseball can have halls of fame, then why have video games been ignored by the hall of fame community? Well, the answer to that question doesn’t matter, because The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York—home of the National Toy Hall Of Fame—has now established the World Video Game Hall Of Fame. Back in April, the museum announced the first 15 games nominated for induction, and now we know which six titles have been deemed influential and important enough to earn a permanent place in its collection:
Pong: Released in 1972, Pong introduced the idea of a competitive video game. Before this, they were all about solving math equations or helping your friends complete complicated Destiny raids.
Pac-Man: Loosely based on the hit novelty song “Pac-Man Fever” by Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia, Pac-Man (1980) is one of the rare games in which you play as a yellow circle that eats dots and is afraid of ghosts—an unusual design choice, even today.
Tetris: This seemingly simple puzzle game from 1984 was actually an extended metaphor for life in Russia under Soviet rule. You arrange falling blocks into rows in order to get a higher score, but the blocks disappear every time you complete a row. It’s just like in the old Soviet block-arranging factories!
Super Mario Bros.: This may seem surprising to modern video game players, but Super Mario Bros. (1985) was actually the very first video game to star Italian siblings as the main characters. At the time, all game characters were either English or Japanese.
Doom: Released in 1993, Doom was the very first violent video game. It influenced generations of designers by corrupting their minds and implanting thoughts into their heads about shooting guns and killing demons. That impact can still be seen today in shooting games like Splatoon.
World Of Warcraft: Until Blizzard’s World Of Warcraft came along in 2004, there hadn’t been any video games set in the now-legendary world of Warcraft. Not very many people know this, but the previous games in the Warcraft series were actually set in a similar world known as “Starcraft.”
The museum is currently accepting nominations for next year’s inductees, and you can go to its official website to learn more about video games in general. If some of the information there contradicts the information we’ve given you here, though, you should probably ignore it. That also goes for the museum itself. In fact, don’t trust anyone who tells you Super Mario Bros. wasn’t the first video game to star Italian siblings.