Seminal video game classics Doom and Pong have been inducted into the first Video Game Hall of Fame, as part of a project to find influential games begun in February by American museum of play ‘The Strong’.
Minecraft and Angry Birds, although finalists, didn’t make the cut but World of Warcraft, Pac-Man, Tetris and Super Mario Bros did.
The museum invited people to nominate video games played in all formats to be selected as iconic game-changers and the winners span thirty years of gaming between 1972 (Pong) to 2004 (W.O.W.).
Pong was an obvious choice because it effectively launched the video gaming industry, say the museum:
“By most measures of popular impact, Pong (1972) launched the video game industry. A simple game involving two paddles and a ball, Pong introduced millions to the joys of playing video games.
Although it was not the first electronic game, and the Magnavox Odyssey home console already featured a similar tennis game,Pong was the first game to grab wide-scale public attention. Its success propelled Atari into a preeminent role in the video game industry. Decades after its launch, Pong’s iconic sound, intuitive controls, and satisfying game play still resonate, inviting people to try their hand at keeping the ball bouncing as long as possible.”
Other games were chosen for becoming cultural icons (Tetris), making games a mass-market phenomenon (Pac-Man) and changing the way games were made (Doom).
It’s National Volunteers’ Week, and the award-winning Museum of Computing in Theatre Square, Swindon, England has appealed to people who can give up some time to help out.
It is open on Fridays from 10am until 4pm and on Saturdays from 9.30am until 5pm.
The museum traces the history of the computer from ingenious mechanical devices to compact machines from as recently as a few years ago.
Countless machines are on display and many can be used by visitors.
The same goes for its extensive stock of gaming machines, the earliest of which include ‘Pong’-style offerings, which thrilled a generation when they were released in the early 1970s.
The museum also runs computer clubs for people of all ages and organises regular events such as live action Pacman tournaments.
In a news item published this week by the Swindon Advertiser newspaper, museum spokesman Rob Leaney said roles included welcoming people at reception and helping catalogue the vast collection of computing items.
“We’re always on the look-out for anyone who can help us with everything from helping out with events, manning the front desk and cataloguing the collection, to a spot of cleaning,” he said.
“Whether people can help us out with their time, or just want to visit, we offer a friendly and interesting experience.”
The museum especially needs people who can help organise events, work at the front desk on Fridays or be assistant volunteer co-ordinators.