World Video Game Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2023 Inductees
Congrats to the inductees!
It’s official! Barbie Fashion Designer sashayed past the competition. Computer Space blasted its way to victory. The Last of Us outlasted the pack. And Wii Sports served an ace. These four games—which have influenced popular culture or the video game industry significantly—today joined the World Video Game Hall of Fame at The Strong National Museum of Play.
They emerged from a field of finalists that also included Age of Empires, Angry Birds, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, FIFA International Soccer, Goldeneye 007, NBA 2K, Quake, and Wizardry. The games will be enshrined and on display in a new home for the World Video Game Hall of Fame slated to open June 30—part of a 90,000-square-foot expansion of The Strong.
About Barbie Fashion Designer: The 1996 hit Barbie Fashion Designer emerged at a time when many games were marketed to male players. Published by Digital Domain/Mattel Media, it proved that a computer game targeted to girls could succeed, selling more than 500,000 copies in two months. The game helped greatly expanded the market for video games and in the process opened important—and ongoing—discussions about gender and stereotypes in gaming. Barbie Fashion Designer was also innovative in bridging the gap between the digital and the physical, allowing players to design clothes for their Barbie dolls and print them on special fabric.
About Computer Space: Nutting Associate’s Computer Space appeared in 1971 and was the first commercial video game. Inspired by the early minicomputer and previous World Video Game Hall of Fame inductee—Spacewar! (1962)—the coin-operated Computer Space proved that video games could reach an audience outside of computer labs. While not a best-seller, it was a trailblazer in the video game world and inspired its creators to go on to establish Atari Inc., a video game giant in the 1970s and 1980s.
About The Last of Us: Released by Naughty Dog and Sony Interactive Entertainment in 2013, The Last of Us jumped into an oversaturated field of post-apocalyptic zombie games and quickly stood out among the rest with its in-depth storytelling, intimate exploration of humanity, thrilling game jumps and cutscenes, and its memorable characters. More than 200 publications named it the game of the year in 2013. Its story has since made the jump to Hollywood, inspiring an HBO adaptation in 2023 watched weekly by millions.
About Wii Sports: Wii Sports launched with the Nintendo Wii home video game system in 2006 and introduced motion-based technology to living rooms across the world. With a simple swipe of the controller, players could serve a tennis ball, hurl a bowling bowl, throw a left hook, or drive a golf ball. The simple mechanics made the game accessible to almost anyone—allowing it to be played by young children and seniors alike—and helped to redefine the idea of who is a “gamer.” Ultimately, the game helped Nintendo to sell more than 100 million Wii consoles worldwide.