The museum that houses the National Toy Hall of Fame announced Tuesday the creation of the World Video Game Hall of Fame to recognize the impact games like "Pong" and "Grand Theft Auto" have on culture and society.
"Electronic games have changed how people play, learn and connect with each other, including across boundaries of culture and geography," said G. Rollie Adams, president and chief executive of The Strong museum in Rochester, where the new hall is located.
The toy hall of fame will provide the model for the video version, which is dedicated to arcade, console, computer, hand-held and mobile games.
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Anyone will be able to nominate a game and an internal advisory committee will choose finalists. An annual class of inductees will be chosen by an international selection committee of journalists, scholars and other video game experts based on four criteria: icon-status, longevity, geographical reach and the influence it has had on the design of other games, entertainment, popular culture and society in general.
Nominations for the inaugural class are being accepted through the end of March.
"It's a great move, I'm personally delighted to see it," said Don Daglow, who designed his first game as a college student in 1971 and said the field has been evolving ever since.
"Utopia," his 1981 game for Intellivision, was the first simulation game. He also worked on "World Series Baseball" for Intellivision, which was the first to incorporate multiple camera angles.
Daglow didn't want to guess as to whether he'd see his work in the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
"We're trying to deliver fun and, at our very best, we're trying to do what a really good movie or television program or cook does," Daglow said by phone from Sausalito, California. "We're also trying to deliver people a deeper fulfillment that you get out of a work that really makes you think."
The Strong collects and preserves video games and artifacts through its International Center for the History of Electronic Games. Its collection includes more than 55,000 video games and related artifacts, along with personal papers and corporate records that document the history of video games.
"These unparalleled resources uniquely qualify The Strong to create a World Video Game Hall of Fame that identifies and celebrates the most important games of all time," said the center's director, Jon-Paul Dyson.