World Video Game Hall of Fame names 2017 finalists

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — The World Video Game Hall of Fame’s 2017 finalists span decades and electronic platforms, from the 1981 arcade classic “Donkey Kong” that launched Mario’s plumbing career to the 2006 living room hit “Wii Sports,” that made gamers out of grandparents.

The hall of fame at The Strong museum in Rochester said Tuesday that 12 video games are under consideration for induction in May. They also include: “Final Fantasy VII,” ”Halo: Combat Evolved,” ”Microsoft Windows Solitaire,” ”Mortal Kombat,” ”Myst,” ”Pokemon Red and Green,” ”Portal,” ”Resident Evil,” ”Street Fighter II” and “Tomb Raider.”

The finalists were chosen from thousands of nominations from more than 100 countries, said museum officials, who will rely on an international committee of video game scholars and journalists to select the 2017 class. The winners will be inducted May 4.

“What they all have in common is their undeniable impact on the world of gaming and popular culture,” said Jon-Paul Dyson, director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games.”

The hall of fame recognizes electronic games that have achieved icon status and geographical reach, and that have influenced game design or popular culture.

The class of 2017 will be the third group to go into the young hall, joining “DOOM,” ”Grand Theft Auto III,” ”The Legend of Zelda,” ”The Oregon Trail,” ”Pac-Man,” ”Pong,” ”The Sims,” ”Sonic the Hedgehog,” ”Space Invaders,” Tetris, “World of Wardcraft,” and “Super Mario Bros.,” whose title character got his start in this year’s “Donkey Kong” entry.

More about this year’s finalists, according The Strong:

—“Donkey Kong” (1981): Helped to launch the career of game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and sold an estimated 132,000 arcade cabinets.

—“Final Fantasy VII” (1997): The Sony Playstation’s second-most popular game introduced 3-D computer graphics and full motion video, selling more than 10 million units.

—“Halo: Combat Evolved” (2001): A launch game for Microsoft’s Xbox system, the science-fiction game sold more than 6 million copies and inspired sequels, spin-offs, novels, comic books and action figures.

—“Microsoft Windows Solitaire” (1991): Based on a centuries-old card game, it has been installed on more than 1 billion home computers and other machines since debuting on Windows 3.0.

—“Mortal Kombat” (1992): The game’s realistic violence was debated internationally and in Congress and was a factor in the 1994 creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

—“Myst” (1993): The slow-paced, contemplative game harnessed early CD-ROM technology and became the best-selling computer game in the 1990s, selling 6 million copies.

—“Pokemon Red and Green” (1996): Since appearing on the Nintendo Game Boy, the Pokemon phenomenon has produced more than 260 million copies of its games, 21.5 billion trading cards, more than 800 television episodes and 17 movies.

—“Portal” (2007): The Game Developers Conference’s 2008 Game of the Year was the breakout hit out of the four first-person shooter games it was packaged with, recognized for game mechanics that relied on portal physics.

—“Resident Evil” (1996): Among spin-offs of the survival horror game are movies that have grossed more than $1.2 billion worldwide, as well as themed restaurants and novels.

—“Street Fighter II” (1991): One of the top-selling arcade games ever helped spark an arcade renaissance in the 1990s and inspired numerous sequels.

—“Tomb Raider” (1996): Its female protagonist, Lara Croft, is the face of a franchise that has sold more than 58 million units worldwide, helped in part by actress Angelina Jolie’s movie portrayal.

—“Wii Sports” (2006): Launched with the Nintendo Wii home video game system, its motion-control technology let gamers of any age serve a tennis ball or throw a left hook and helped push Wii console sales to more than 100 million.

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