Four games were inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame in Rochester, N.Y., on Thursday, May 4, 2017. Olivia Lopez
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Spacewar!, John Madden Football, Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy VII are the latest video games to be inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame.
The World Video Game Hall of Fame revealed the inductees Thursday.
The inductees, dubbed the Class of 2018, were chosen from the 12 finalists revealed in March at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y., where the hall of fame is housed.
Museum officials described why the four games were chosen at a news conference Thursday.
Spacewar! was not a commercial game when created in 1962, but it inspired the first mass-market arcade games and helped launched the multibillion-dollar video game industry.
John Madden Football created a pop culture phenomenon and changed the way we play and consume video games, and even the manner the actual sports games are broadcast, said Jeremy Saucier, The Strong’s assistant vice president for interpretation and electronic games.
Tomb Raider, an action-adventure game with platform games and puzzle-solving, brought gamers into a unique 3-D universe when it was released in 1996. The game also features a female protagonist who remains an iconic figure in gaming.
“Final Fantasy VII is widely acclaimed as the game that broke Japanese role-playing games into mainstream popularity across the globe,” said curator Shannon Symonds. “In addition to its technical achievements, it also introduced the world to memorable characters who have appeared in other game franchises and myriad media.”
Established in 2015, the Video Game Hall of Fame recognizes individual electronic games of all types — arcade, console, computer, handheld and mobile — that have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and society in general.
This year, the museum received thousands of nominations from hundreds of countries. For the first time, video gaming fans were able to vote for their favorite game as part of the process through a Player’s Choice ballot. Votes cast helped a panel of experts select the latest inductees.
Some of the 16 games already inducted into the Hall of Fame include Pong, Super Mario Brothers, Pac-Man, DOOM, The Oregon Trail and Pokémon.
Follow Victoria E. Freile on Twitter: @vfreile