The World Video Game Hall of Fame has found Carmen Sandiego. And three other games.
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? has joined Animal Crossing, Microsoft Flight Simulator and StarCraft as this year’s inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame located at the Strong National Museum of Play. They beat out finalists that included Call of Duty, FarmVille, FIFA International Soccer, Guitar Hero, Mattel Football, Pole Position, Porta, and Tron.
Nintendo debuted the Animal Crossing game in 2001, offering players leisurely gameplay set in real-time amid changing seasons.
“The freedom of play in Animal Crossing gave the game wider gender and age appeal than many other video game titles of its time,” said Research Historian Racquel Gonzales in a statement.
For nearly four decades, Microsoft Flight Simulator has provided millions of players endless hours of gameplay by providing highly realistic but intuitive recreations of real-life airplanes.
“It’s hard to overestimate what a groundbreaking program Microsoft Flight Simulator was when it debuted in 1983,” said Jeremy Saucier, assistant vice president for interpretation and electronic games. “For the first time, amateur and professional aviators could navigate the skies — without ever leaving home. And the joy of flight is universal, which is perhaps why Microsoft Flight Simulator has continued to captivate gamers for decades.”
California-based developer Blizzard Entertainment took the real-time strategy genre to new heights in 1998 with the debut of StarCraft. The single-player mode of the immersive, science fiction game proved popular, but the multiplayer mode, which included a ladder ranking system, turned it into the largest esports title of its day. StarCraft won multiple Game of the Year Awards and generated its own lines of novels, graphic novels, licensed toys, clothing and gaming accessors.
Released by Brøderbund in 1985, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? spawned one of the best-selling “edutainment” franchises, combining education and entertainment. Designed for the first generation of graphic-enabled personal computers, the title made learning world geography fun for millions of students as they searched for the whereabouts of the mysterious Carmen Sandiego. The game, which launched several sequels, also inspired a hit show on American Public Broadcasting in the 1990s and an animated series on Netflix, helping propel Carmen Sandiego and her world-traveling ways into the cultural zeitgeist.
The World Video Game Hall of Fame at the Strong was established in 2015 to recognize individual electronic games of all types—arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile — that have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and society in general.