More than 40 years after blazing a trail for female video game characters, Ms. Pac-Man was inducted Thursday into the World Video Game Hall of Fame, along with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Dance Dance Revolution and Sid Meier’s Civilization.
The Hall of Fame considers electronic games of all kinds each year: arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile. Members are recognized for their popularity and influence in the video game industry or pop culture over time.
The arcade game Ms. Pac-Man was released in 1981 as Midway’s follow-up to Pac-Man, which entered the hall as part of the inaugural class in 2015. The Pac-Man sequel reimagined the main character to acknowledge female fans of the original game, according to the show. After selling 125,000 cabinets in its first five years, it became one of the best-selling arcade games of all time.
There was nothing inherently gender-related about early video games, said Julia Novakovic, the room’s chief archivist. But “by offering the first widely recognized female video game character,” she said, “Ms. Pac-Man represented a shift in the cultural conversation about the place of women in arcades, as well as in society at large.” “.
The Class of 2022 was chosen from a field of finalists that also included Assassin’s Creed, Candy Crush Saga, Minesweeper, NBA Jam, PaRappa the Rapper, Resident Evil, Rogue, and Words with Friends. It is the eighth class to be inducted since the World Video Game Hall of Fame was established at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.
Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution, first seen in arcades in Japan in 1998, was credited for helping pave the way for other music-focused games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. The fast-paced game put players on a dance floor with a screen in front of them to direct their moves.
“Music has been an integral part of human life since prehistoric times, so it’s no surprise that DDR enjoyed a unique popularity that spanned ages, genres, and regions,” said video game curator Lindsey Kurano.
A home version of the game followed on the Sony PlayStation in 1999.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, also first released in 1998, came out for the Nintendo 64 game console and defined what a 3D action video game could be, Hall of Fame officials said. The award-winning game sold over 7.6 million copies worldwide and continues to be recognized by some gamers and critics as one of the best video games ever made.
“Even today, developers around the world credit The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time with influencing the way they make games,” said curator of digital games Andrew Borman. combined to inspire a wonder in players that they have never forgotten.”
Sid Meier’s Civilization, released in 1991, was recognized as an influential simulation and strategy game. The game, which invited players to develop their own empires, launched a series of successor games, including the most recent Civilization: Beyond Earth and Civilization VI.
“The game’s addictive nature, which creator Sid Meier himself called the ‘one more turn’ quality, and its nearly limitless options that avoided repetitive gameplay, earned Civilization a Computer Gaming World recognition as the best video game ever. the times in 1996,” said Jon-Paul Dyson, director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games. “In total, and given the game’s extraordinarily long play times, players have engaged with the Civilization series for more than a billion hours.”
Anyone can nominate a game for the World Video Game Hall of Fame. The final selections are made with the advice of journalists, academics, and others with knowledge of the history of video games and their role in society.