The World Video Game of Hall of Fame has announced the 2019 game inductees: Mortal Kombat, Super Mario Kart, Microsoft Solitaire, and Colossal Cave Adventure. Although the games represent a variety of platforms, genres, countries of origin, and decades, each game has impacted pop culture and the gaming industry as a whole.
Founded in 2015, the World Video Game of Hall of Fame at the Strong was established to recognize individual electronic games of all types—arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile—that have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and society in general. The Strong is an interactive, collections-based museum devoted to the history and exploration of play. It is one of the largest history museums in the United States, and it houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to video games and play.
Inductees where chosen from a list of 12 finalists including Candy Crush Saga, Centipede, Dance Dance Revolution, Half-Life, Myst, NBA 2K, Sid Meier’s Civilization, and Super Smash Bros.
SUPER MARIO CART
Nintendo’s Super Mario Kart combined the thrill of racing games with the beloved characters of its Super Mario Bros. franchise. Released in 1992, the game built on previous racing games and popularized the go-kart subgenre. Super Mario Kart has sold millions of copies on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and generated a dozen other titles across consoles, handhelds, and arcade games that have sold more than 100 million units.
“Super Mario Kart truly excelled as a social game that appealed to players of all skill levels, especially with its engaging multi-player settings,” says Julia Novakovic, archivist. “It invited friends, family, and gaming fans of all ages along for an unforgettable ride that has made it the longest-running racing series in gaming history.”
COLOSSAL CAVE ADVENTURE
Text-based Colossal Cave Adventure debuted in 1976 and conjured up an immersive, interactive fantasy world despite the limits of primitive computer technology. While the game had no graphics and relied on players typing written commands, it still offered a fully-realized realm to explore, with treasures to find and puzzles to solve. It laid the foundation for an entire genre of fantasy and adventure games, and it directly inspired other pioneering titles, such as Adventureland and Zork, which helped launch the commercial computer game industry.
“The best games fire the imagination,” says Jon-Paul Dyson, director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games. “Anyone who first typed a command like ‘get lamp’ into Colossal Cave Adventure could see the power of electronic games to create magical worlds of the imagination.”
MICROSOFT WINDOWS SOLITAIRE
Based on a centuries-old card game, Microsoft Windows Solitaire debuted in 1991 on the Windows 3.0 computing platform and became ubiquitous around the world. The game has been installed on more than one billion machines since its creation, tying its story forever to the rise of the home computer. It proved that some analog games can be even more popular in the digital world.
Mortal Kombat brought cutting-edge graphics and unique fighting styles to the arcade when it launched in 1992. The game’s over-the-top depictions of violence also spurred international debate, including Congressional hearings in the United States that spurred the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in 1994, and provided that games weren’t just for kids. By pushing the boundaries in terms of content and what players could do with their in-game characters, Mortal Kombat spawned an entire franchise—including games, music albums, action figures, a theatrical stage show, and Hollywood movies.
Says Digital Games Curator Andrew Borman, “Beyond its controversial content and role in triggering debate about the role of violent video games in society, Mortal Kombat’s compelling gameplay, iconic characters, and many sequels have kept players coming back again and again.”
Previous inductees include:
- Final Fantasy VII (2018)
- John Madden Football (2018)
- Spacewar! (2018)
- Tomb Raider (2018)
- Donkey Kong (2017)
- Halo: Combat Evolved (2017)
- Pokémon Red and Green (2017)
- Street Fighter II (2017)
- Grand Theft Auto (2016)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2016)
- Space Invaders (2016)
- The Legend of Zelda (2016)
- The Oregon Trail (2016)
- The Sims (2016)
- DOOM (2015)
- Pac-Man (2015)
- Pong (2015)
- Super Mario Bros. (2015)
- Tetris (2015)
- World of Warcraft (2015)
Game finalists are chosen each year with input from a team of journalists, scholars, and other experts familiar with the history of video games and their influence in pop culture. Anyone can nominate a game for consideration in the World Video Game of Hall of Fame.
What do you think of this year’s game inductees? Which games do you think should have made the cut? Tell us in the comments!
Elon Musk, Brian Eno, “Apollo 11” to Receive the 2019 Stephen Hawking Medal
The STARMUS festival, a biennial festival that brings together the world’s leading scientists, astronauts, and iconic artists and musicians, has announced the 2019 winners of the Stephen Hawking Medal. The Stephen Hawking Medal is one of the world’s most celebrated science communication awards.
This year’s recipients are:
Elon Musk is honored for his astounding accomplishments in space travel and for humanity. Musk is the co-founder and CEO of Tesla, Inc., an electric car company and solar panel manufacturer through its subsidiary SolarCity. He is also the founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX, a space transportation and aerospace manufacturer attempting to colonize Mars. He also co-founded PayPal.
Brian Eno is honored for his contribution to the popularization of science. Eno is a record producer and musician known for his work in contemporary and ambient music. After joining the band Roxy Music as a synthesizer in the 1970’s, Eno released a number of albums himself including Another Green World, Before and After Science, Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, and Another Day on Earth. Eno was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Roxy Music earlier this year.
Apollo 11, a documentary by Todd Douglas Miller, is honored for its breakthrough look at history’s most famous space mission. Released earlier this year, Apollo 11 includes never-before-seen footage of the first human spaceflight to the Moon. The film includes 70 mm archival film that had never been released to the public before, and does not include any narration voice-overs or interviews.
STARMUS will announce the winners at a press event in Zurich on May 10th, with the medal ceremony to follow on June 24 at the STARMUS V festival, also in Zurich. Celebrated scientist and educator Bill Nye will host the ceremony, and scheduled attendees include a remarkable roster of science and space luminaries, including Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins and six other Apollo mission astronauts.
STARMUS co-founder and board member Dr. Brian May, the legendary Queen guitarist and PhD astrophysicist, will personally present the medal to Mr. Musk, who has been hailed by no less than Richard Dawkins as a “hero for our times.” On hand as well will be Sir Michael Hintze, founder, Group Executive Chairman, and Senior Investment Officer of CQS, whose generous patronage helps make possible the Stephen Hawking Medal; and STARMUS founder Dr. Garik Israelian. It will be a momentous occasion, with Mr. May and Mr. Musk flanked by the Apollo astronauts in a not-to-miss photo opportunity.
“I am excited about our support for Starmus and the 2019 Stephen Hawking Medal. It is enabling us to better understand the origins and fate of our universe, where we have come from and where we might go. It is about intellectual curiosity, striving for knowledge and a journey of discovery about our planet and our place in the universe. For science to grow and prosper we must excite and engage with our youth, and capture their imagination. The work being done here connects into the global scientific community and facilitates global collaboration.” – Sir Michael Hintze, Founder and Group Executive Chairman, CQS
One highlight among many expected at this year’s medal ceremony will be a one-of-a-kind performance, conducted by musical giant Hans Zimmer and featuring special guests, of his original composition “Once Upon a Time on The Moon,” an incredible 50th anniversary tribute to the Apollo missions and those who made them possible.
This year’s awards are the first bestowed since the passing of Stephen Hawking; they are dedicated to his legacy and given in recognition of his affinity for applied technology. Before his death, Mr. Hawking personally invited Mr. Musk to STARMUS. Previous recipients of the Stephen Hawking Medal include Mr. Zimmer, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jean-Michel Jarre, and The Big Bang Theory.
From 24 to 29 June 2019, the world-renowned science and music festival STARMUS celebrates a half century of lunar exploration through the theme “50 Years of Moon Landing.” Taking place in Switzerland this year for the first time, the festival gathers leading scientists, legendary astronauts, and musical greats and invites the general public to share in their passion and knowledge.
The 2019 programme will bring together some of the most intelligent, creative, and artistic people on the planet. Prominent attendees—all personally selected by the STARMUS board of directors—include an unprecedented public gathering of Apollo astronauts, including 2019’s keynote speaker Michael Collins, Charlie Duke, and Harrison Schmitt. STARMUS V will welcome 12 Nobel laureates to the stage, as well as luminaries from the worlds of art, science, and music—including Mr. Eno, Mr. May, Steve Vai, and Rick Wakeman—for six days of discussion, debate, and engagement across the sciences, from microbiology and biochemistry to astrophysics and neuroscience. Other speakers include Sir Martin Rees, Brian Cox, Emmanuelle Charpentier, and Helen Sharman.
According to Garik Israelian, STARMUS founder, the 2019 festival has been designed to ask tough questions about our place in the universe at a pivotal point in human history.
“The importance of STARMUS V cannot be understated. At a time when the world retreats to isolationism, collaboration is needed to strategically present the ideas, evidence, and challenges we collectively face – and uniquely confront. We believe the biggest and best achievements of the human race are a result of that scientific collaboration.” Dr. Garik Israelian, Founder, STARMUS
Tickets for the STARMUS festival are now officially on sale and can be purchased at www.starmus.com.
[Members of the STARMUS board: Stephen Hawking (posthumous), Brian May, Peter Gabriel, Richard Dawkins, Alexei Leonov, Jill Tarter, Robert Williams, David Eicher, Emmanuelle Charpentier and founder Garik Israelian.]
What do you think of this year’s winners? Who would you like to see receive the Stephen Hawking Medal? Let us know in the comments!
BlizzCon 2019 Tickets Available For Sale This May
Let’s do this, LeRoy Jenkins!
Blizzard Entertainment has announced BlizzCon 2019 will return November 1-2 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Tickets will be available for sale to the public on Saturday, May 4 and Wednesday, May 8.
BlizzCon 2019 will feature a number of activities and attractions for attendees including developer panels, opportunities for community members to be creative, and the new BlizzCon Pregame Festivities, a casual social experience outside of the convention center the day before the show. There will also be more active hall space inside the convention center.
Fans can expect a number of esports competitions including Hearthstone Global Finals, capping off the inaugural year of Hearthstone Grandmasters; the Overwatch World Cup; the epic global finals for the StarCraft II World Championship Series; the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship Finals; and the inaugural global finals of the World of Warcraft Mythic Dungeon International.
“BlizzCon has served as a home away from home for the Blizzard community, a place where online friends can meet up in real life and new friendships are formed. We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone to the show this year, reconnecting, celebrating, and sharing some of our latest developments.” – J. Allen Brack, President, Blizzard Entertainment
Three different pass options are available to fans this year. The new “BlizzCon Portal Pass” offers a number of different convenience-related perks like preferred parking, separate registration and security lines, a dedicated lounge, opportunities to meet Blizzard employees, and more. BlizzCon Portal Pass ticket holders will also receive access to the Darkmoon Faire during a new “Night at the Faire” event on the eve of BlizzCon and an option to be the first to enter the show on Friday and Saturday.
The core BlizzCon Pass will offer full general-admission access. Ticketholders will also be able to access the new BlizzCon Pregame Festivities, a “Welcome to BlizzCon” get-together in the plaza outside the convention center on Thursday, October 31 from 9:00 AM to 5 PM PDT. Fans can mingle, meet up with friends, enjoy food and drinks, and do a readycheck before the main event begins on Friday.
Tickets are also available for the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner, a charity dinner where fans can meet developers, artists, and Blizzard affiliates. All proceeds from the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner support the CHOC Children’s, a pediatric healthcare organization dedicated to keeping kids happy and healthy. Ticketholders who purchase a BlizzCon Benefit Dinner pass will also receive the same perks as Portal Pass holders.
All three types of passes will be available in waves online via the AXS ticketing system. The first sale starts Saturday, May 4 at 10:00 AM PDT and the final sale starts Wednesday, May 8 at 7:00 PM PDT. The BlizzCon Pass is $229, the BlizzCon Portal Pass is $550, and the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner is $750. Ticket prices do not include applicable taxes and fees. An online waiting room opens approximately 30 minutes before on-sale time.
Fans who purchase a ticket to BlizzCon 2019 will receive BlizzCon in-game goodies to be announced later. Fans will also receive their choice of commemorative statue in honor of Warcraft’s 25th Anniversary. Fans can choose from an Orc Giant or Human Footman with all statue selections locked during the ticket-purchase process. Although the statues will replace the Goody Bag from previous years, both statues will be sold separately to the public during a limited window starting May 4. Additional Blizzard gear can be found on the BlizzCon Store. BlizzCon 2019 will also be streamed online for fans who can’t attend the event in-person in Anaheim.
Will you be attending BlizzCon 2019 in-person or watching online? Would you rather have an Orc, Human, or both? Tell us in the comments!