The Strong’s Hall of Fame candidates for 2020

Filed under Game trail, Mainstream coverage;

It’s time once again for the Strong Museum of Play to consider which video games are worth being inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame. Every year since 2015, the Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games considers what software from the last century is notable for its "icon-status, longevity, geographic reach, and influence". Previous inductees familiar to Apple II users include Colossal Cave and Oregon Trail.

One game is does not include is King’s Quest, which was nominated but not accepted into the Hall of Fame in 2018. It’ll get another chance this year as one of these dozen games that the Strong is currently considering:

Strong ICHEG 2020 candidates

Welcome, class.

  • • Bejeweled
  • • Centipede
  • • Frogger
  • • GoldenEye 007
  • • Guitar Hero
  • • King’s Quest
  • • Minecraft
  • • NBA Jam
  • • Nokia Snake
  • • Super Smash Bros. Mêlée
  • • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  • • Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Only six of these games will make the cut. Between King’s Quest and Carmen Sandiego, there’s a 17% chance that the Apple II will be represented.

Those are good odds, given the candidates: King’s Quest was designed by Roberta Williams, who is currently featured in the Strong’s Women in Games exhibit, with the franchise’s latest entry having been released in 2015; and Carmen Sandiego has inspired countless sequels and television shows, including a Netflix animated series that’s still in production.

If it were up to me, the six games I would chose from the above list would be Bejeweled, Frogger, GoldenEye 007, King’s Quest, Minecraft, and Super Smash Bros. Mêlée. I haven’t played all these games, but I respect their lasting cultural impact.

Here’s hoping the Strong’s new class represents the Apple II!

  1. To me, there’s something kinda strange about their whole hall of fame and mechanism. Let’s grab Frogger as an example. Has Frogger gone up or down in cultural stakes since last year? Two years ago? Three years ago? It feels pretty indelible as of decades now. The only thing to stop it is the high number of nominees each year and the fact they’ll only induct one a year. I think culturally, everything in the nominations list is worthy, except maybe Uncharted 2 because it’s too new for us to really judge its influence. I’d block King’s Quest because I don’t like it, but culturally, it’s absolutely worthy.

    Induct ’em all, I say!

  2. A game’s cultural influence can certainly change along with culture itself; a game can be rediscovered or viewed through a new lens. Its induction can also be determined by its classmates: if the competition is weak, it stands a better chance of making the cut. King’s Quest couldn’t compete with the other candidates last time; we’ll see what happens this year!