Video game hall of fame inducts 'Wii Sports,' 'Barbie Fashion Designer'

The World Video Game Hall of Fame announced this year's inductees: "barbie Fashion Designer," "The Last of Us," "Wii Sports" and "Computer Space." Photo courtesy of The Strong National Museum of Play
The World Video Game Hall of Fame announced this year's inductees: "barbie Fashion Designer," "The Last of Us," "Wii Sports" and "Computer Space." Photo courtesy of The Strong National Museum of Play

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May 9 (UPI) -- The World Video Game Hall of Fame in Rochester, N.Y., announced its 2023 inductees are Barbie Fashion Designer, Computer Space, The Last of Us and Wii Sports.

The World Video Game Hall of Fame, part of The Strong National Museum of Play, announced the four titles were chosen from a field of finalists that included Age of Empires, Angry Birds, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, FIFA International Soccer, Goldeneye 007, NBA 2K, Quake and Wizardry.


The enshrined games will be displayed at the Hall of Fame's new home, which is scheduled to open June 30.

The museum said Barbie Fashion Designer, a 1996 PC game, came at a time when companies were not sure games marketed toward girls could succeed. The game allowed players to design their own clothes for their dolls and print their designs out on special fabric.


"Barbie Fashion Designer became a jumping-off point for the girls' games movement and shook up the software and gaming scene," collections manager Kristy Hisert said. "It also sparked important questions and debate. What does it mean to be a game for girls? Should there even be games 'for girls?' What are the implications of these games? What are the consequences of gendering games?"

Computer Space, released in 1971, is known as the first commercially available video game. It followed in the footsteps of 1962's SpaceWar, but took gaming to the next level by being playable in a coin-operated cabinet. The creators of the game would go on to found powerhouse gaming company Atari.

"There was no video game industry in 1970. The games that we'd now call video games were still mostly locked away on computers in university and research labs, inaccessible to the public. Computer Space changed all that in 1971. Ultimately, Computer Space didn't bring video games to the masses, but by showing that video games could reach paying audiences outside of computer labs, it laid the foundations for the game industry," said Jeremy Saucier, assistant vice president for interpretation and electronic games.

The Last of Us, debuting in 2013, won more than 200 game of the year honors and went on to inspire the live-action HBO series of the same name.


"Despite debuting in 2013, The Last of Us remains popular because of its quality of gameplay and strength of story," video game curator Lindsey Kurano said. "The 2023 HBO adaptation has expanded the game's reach and popularity. Created with Naughty Dog's involvement, the show has garnered support from both critics and fans as one of the best video game adaptations ever made."

Wii Sports, released alongside the Nintendo Wii console in 2006, brought motion-based technology to the mainstream of gaming.

"With more than 82 million copies sold, Wii Sports is one of the best-selling video games of all time, but its true influence comes from the fact that it made gamers out of millions of people around the world who'd never thought about playing one before," said Aryol Prater, research specialist for Black play and culture. "It became a gaming phenomenon as news stories proliferated about the game getting diverse groups of people -- including those at many senior centers -- off their couches and breaking a sweat with virtual bowling, tennis, and more."

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