'Mortal Kombat,' 'Tomb Raider' Lead Video Game Hall of Fame Noms - Rolling Stone
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‘Mortal Kombat,’ ‘Tomb Raider’ Lead Video Game Hall of Fame Finalists

‘Donkey Kong,’ ‘Pokemon,’ ‘Final Fantasy VII’ also up for induction in 2017 class

'Mortal Kombat,' 'Tomb Raider' Lead Video Game Hall of Fame Finalists

Mike Goldwater/Alamy

Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider, Donkey Kong, Pokemon Red and Green and “Microsoft Windows Solitaire” are among the 12 finalists for the World Video Game Hall of Fame‘s class of 2017, Associated Press reports.

The nominees include Final Fantasy VII, Myst, Halo: Combat Evolved, Resident Evil, Portal, Street Fighter II and Wii Sports. The long-list was culled from thousands of nominations from over 100 countries, while Hall of Fame officials will rely on an international committee of video game scholars and journalists to choose the 2017 class. The winners will be inducted May 4th.

Donkey Kong is the oldest game to be nominated this year. The pioneering arcade game from designer Shigeru Miyamoto launched in 1981 and not only made a star out of its titular villain, but notably featured the first appearance of Mario (then known as Mr. Video and later Jumpman).

The majority of the potential inductees, however, are from the Nineties, capturing the technical advances, growing market power and cultural influence of video games during that decade. For instance, Final Fantasy VII was a best seller and pioneered 3D computer graphics, while Tomb Raider and Resident Evil offered new kinds of stories and showed the franchise potential for video games in other mediums. The realistic violence of Mortal Kombat, meanwhile, made it a massive hit and the subject of Congressional debate, eventually spurring the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board. More contemporary nominees like Halo and Portal expanded on these storytelling, gameplay and franchise trends in the 2000s, while Wii Sports marked a major technological leap with its motion-control technology.

The 2017 long-list also marks the third time Pokémon Red and Green has been nominated for the Video Game Hall of Fame. The groundbreaking 1996 Game Boy game (released as Red and Blue in the United States) remains a cultural force 20 years later, with a new smartphone edition, Pokémon Go, debuting last year

The Video Game Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 2015 and is housed at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York (where the National Toy Hall of Fame is also located). Among the games currently in the Hall of Fame are Super Mario Bros., Tetris, World of Warcraft, Pong, Pac-Man, Grand Theft Auto III, The Legend of Zelda and The Sims.

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