In their early days people went to the arcade to play video games; today people play their video games at home.

And while the Strong Museum of Play and the World Video Game Hall of Fame are temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 virus; video game fans can still play their games at home.

On March 19 the Strong Museum announced the nominees for 2020 class for the World Video Game Hall of Fame have been announced. Out of thousands of entries from over 100 countries, 12 finalists have been selected – Bejeweled, Centipede, Frogger, GoldenEye 007, Guitar Hero, King’s Quest, Minecraft, NBA Jame, Nokia Snake, Super Smash Brothers Melee, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

The date for the official induction ceremony has yet to be determined and will be announced once the issues with the corona virus have been cleared up.

Finalists are selected on their global influence and popular culture, influence on the video gaming world, and the longevity of the game.

Along with the panel of experts who will determine the newest class of the Hall of Fame, fans will also get a chance to have their say. From now until April 2 fans can go and cast their votes. The top three vote getting games from the fan vote will count as one vote that will be included in the total vote count.

The newest members to the World Video Game Hall of Fame will join previous inductees Colossal Cave Adventure, Donkey Kong, DOOM, Final Fantasy VII, Grand Theft Auto III, Halo: Combat Evolved, John Madden Football, The Legend of Zelda, Microsoft Solitaire, Mortal Kombat, The Oregon Trail, Pac-Man, Pokemon Red and Green, Pong, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, Space Invaders, Spacewar!, Street Fighter II, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Kart, Tetris, Tomb Raider, and World of Warcraft.

Visitors to The Strong in Rochester, New York can see the games in the Hall of Fame; as well as, the inductees to the National Toy Hall of Fame, and the numerous exhibits on display at The Museum including a mini Wegman’s grocery store and the front stoop from “Sesame Street”.

Meet the nominees for the World Video Game Hall of Fame:

Originally created as a Flash game in 2001, Bejeweled revolutionized the match three game industry. The game has been downloaded over 500 million times.

One of the earliest arcade games, Centipede made it debut in 1981 was co-designed by Dona Bailey – one of only a few female programmers at the time. Since its creation, Centipede has been released in mobile, portable, and board game formats.

Another early arcade game, Frogger was also released in 1981 and saw millions of players attempt to navigate frogs across a variety of obstacles most notably a wide highway. Since its inception, Frogger has seen over two dozen versions. The famous game has been the subject of a song, featured in a Disney film, and the centerpiece of a “Seinfeld” episode.

The James Bond franchise enters the video game nominee list with GoldenEye 007. The shooting game made its debut in 1997 and became one of Nintendo’s top three games.

Launched in 2005, Guitar Hero has allowed millions of gamers to unleash their inner rock star. The guitar playing game has sold more than 25 million copies and brought in over $2 billion.

Another game with a female co-designer, King’s Quest was released in 1984 and allowed players to enter a fairy tale land and helped to spawn numerous adventure games.

Introduced in 2009, Minecraft quickly became a global phenomenon and has sold over 175 million copies across off of its various platforms with gaming console versions leading the way.

NBA Jam allows players to defy gravity and show off their dunking skills. Released in 1993, the game features some of the biggest names in professional basketball. One of the most important sports arcade games of all time, NBA Jam has earned over $1 billion.

Taking inspiration from one of the first arcade games to hit the gaming world, Pac Man; the Finnish company Nokia created Nokia Snake for mobile phone owners to have a game to occupy their time. The game features a snake eating food and launched the mobile phone gaming revolution.

Selling more than seven million copies, Super Smash Bros. Melee first appeared in 2001. Since the game first appeared, multiple versions of the game have come out.

Released in 2009, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was the sequel to Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. The adventure game earned the title “Game of the Year” at the Game Developers Conference.

A popular children’s television show, the game “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” was released in 1995. Combining education and entertainment, the game made it fun for millions of children to learn geography.


feature photo courtesy of The Strong Museum in Rochester, NY