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A barrel-throwing ape, a space marine, a collection of 150 monsters, and a motley crew of martial artists who like to punch and kick each other in the face make up the third class of inductees into the World Video Game Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York.
1981’s Donkey Kong, 2001’s Halo: Combat Evolved, 1996‘s Pokemon Red and Green and 1991’s Street Fighter II emerged as this year’s honorees from a field that included Square Enix’s RPG Final Fantasy VII, Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil and Tomb Raider.
The games span three decades and offer widely different gaming experiences, from simple platforming to first-person shooter to RPG to fighting game, and the formats vary, as well. Donkey Kong, one of the most popular cabinet games at the height of the “Golden Age” of arcades, and Street Fighter II, the high-water mark for arcade fighting games, represent the arcade crowd; while Halo: Combat Evolved was the tentpole franchise that helped launch Microsoft’s original Xbox console. Meanwhile, Pokemon Red and Green started a near-Beatles level revolution for young kids in the ‘90s with its collectible draw and mobile gameplay on the Nintendo Gameboy.
Founded in 2015, the World Video Game Hall of Fame was established to honor the games across multiple platforms — arcade, console, computer, handheld, mobile — that have made a lasting impression on the gaming community and pop culture. Final selections to the Hall are made on the advice of journalists and scholars.
Past inductees include Nintendo’s 1985 platformer Super Mario Bros., Blizzard Entertainment’s 2004 MMORPG World of Warcraft, 1975’s Pong, 1971’s educational computer game The Oregon Trail, and the 1984 Russian puzzle game Tetris, among others.
Anyone can nominate a game using the nomination form on the Hall’s website.
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