The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame class of 2019 immortalizes four inductees that hold a special place in the history of the video game industry.
The first inductee is Colossal Cave Adventure, a text-based game that launched in 1976. It had no graphics and relied on players to type written commands, but it offered “a fully-realized realm to explore,” with treasures and puzzles, laying down the foundation for fantasy and adventure games. “The best games fire the imagination,” said the director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games, Jon-Paul Dyson.
The second inductee is Microsoft’s Solitaire, which was released in 1990 alongside Windows 3.0. “In many ways, it helped pave the way for the growth of the casual gaming market that remains so popular today,” said The Strong’s assistant vice president for electronic games and interpretation Jeremy Saucier. Solitaire has been distributed on more than a billion computers, with 35 billion games per year in more than 200 countries.
The third inductee is the original Mortal Kombat, which arrived to arcades in 1992. The violence in the game resulted in the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board in 1994. “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,” said The Strong’s Digital Games Curator Andrew Borman. The franchise’s newest entry, Mortal Kombat 11, was just released.
The fourth inductee is Super Mario Kart, which was also released in 1992 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. “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,” said The Strong archivist Julia Novakovic. Its latest edition is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch.
The finalists for the 2019 class that failed to secure a spot in the World Video Game Hall of Fame this year are Candy Crush Saga, Centipede, Dance Dance Revolution, Half-Life, Myst, NBA 2K, Sid Meier’s Civilization, and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
The four inductees were announced at The Strong museum in Rochester, New York, where they will be on permanent view with their fellow members of the World Video Game Hall of Fame. The 2018 class included Final Fantasy VII, John Madden Football, Tomb Raider, and Spacewar!