- The Strong National Museum of Play has inducted four new titles into its World Video Game Hall of Fame: "Super Mario Kart," "Mortal Kombat," "Microsoft Solitaire," and "Colossal Cave Adventure."
- The 2019 World Video Game Hall of Fame inductees were chosen for their iconic status and overall influence on popular culture.
- Every game inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame is hosted in The Strong Museum's interactive arcade exhibit, eGameRevolution.
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The World Video Game Hall of Fame has announced its 2019 inductees: "Super Mario Kart," "Mortal Kombat," "Microsoft Solitaire," and "Colossal Cave Adventure."
The four inductees were chosen from a field of 12 finalists that also included "Candy Crush Saga," "Centipede," "Dance Dance Revolution," "Half-Life," "Myst," "NBA 2K," "Sid Meier's Civilization," and "Super Smash Bros. Melee."
Based in Rochester, New York, The Strong Museum National Museum of Play established the World Video Game Hall of Fame in 2015 and has now inducted a total of 20 titles. Nominees are judged based on their long-lasting popularity, international appeal, and overall influence on pop culture. Games that join the hall of fame are also added to The Strong Museum's interactive arcade exhibit, eGameRevolution.
Each of this year's inductees is at least 25 years old. "Colossal Cave Adventure" was released in 1972, making it the oldest game in the bunch. "Mario Kart" and "Mortal Kombat" are still two of the most popular video game franchises in the world today, and "Microsoft Solitaire" might be the most played video game of all time.
Here's what you need to know about the 2019 World Video Game Hall of Fame Inductees:
The violence of "Mortal Kombat" led to congressional hearings in 1993.
"Mortal Kombat" was a fighting game released for arcades in 1992. The game used motion-capture actors to animate all sorts of gratuitous violence, earning an infamous reputation, thanks in part to its deadly finishing moves, called fatalities.
While the violence of "Mortal Kombat" was enough to inspire Congressional hearings about video game content ratings, the series also spawned feature films and more than a dozen sequels and spin-offs.
"Mortal Kombat 11" was released last month, and features the same graphic violence the series is known for.
Also released in 1992, "Super Mario Kart" launched one of Nintendo's most successful franchises.
While Nintendo is best known for franchises like "Super Mario Bros.," "Pokémon," and "The Legend of Zelda," "Mario Kart" is actually the company's best-selling franchise.
The game offers a wonderful balance between casual and competitive racing, with each race offering a few minutes of frantic fun for multiple players.
"Super Mario Kart" was the first game in the series and one of the earliest racing games to let two players play at once by splitting the screen. The game used a special graphics style that made the two-dimensional sprites seem as though they were driving in 3D; the effect was considered ground-breaking at the time.
"Colossal Cave Adventure" helped inspire an entire genre of text-based fantasy games when it was released in 1976.
"Colossal Cave Adventure" would barely be considered a video game by most people's standards, but it helped inspire an entirely new genre of entertainment: "Colossal Cave Adventure" doesn't have any graphics — instead, it tells players an ongoing story while they use text commands to choose their path.
Though basic, the game's structure helped future game developers figure out how to build interactive experiences that fuel the imagination.
"Microsoft Solitaire" has been included with Windows since 1990, and is one of the most commonly played video games of all time.
"Microsoft's Solitaire" was mostly an afterthought when it was added to the company's influential Windows operating systems, but millions of people were introduced to the card game as a result of Microsoft's dominance in the personal computer market.
While solitaire existed long before video games, its presence in Windows made it readily accessible to anyone with a PC. Microsoft's Solitaire has a lasting legacy, if only because tens of millions of people ended up playing the game and sharing the experience.
Microsoft celebrated the 25th anniversary of solitaire with a special "Microsoft Solitaire Collection" released in 2015.