World Video Games 2023 Hall Of Fame Entrants
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 12 May 2023

The latest additions to the World Video Game Hall of Fame have been announced, and fans of immersive worlds with strong heroes and amazing monsters will be delighted to hear that the first of this year's winners is Barbie Fashion Designer. 

The other additions for this year are slightly less pink, with the first commercial video game, Computer Space; motion-based game Wii Sports; and zombie game The Last of Us all joining Barbie Fashion Designer.  

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The World Video Game Hall of Fame at The Strong was established in 2015 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.

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While hard-core gamers might be tearing their hair out at Barbie getting in on the act, Barbie Fashion Designer was actually released in 1996, and it showed that a computer game targeted to girls could succeed, selling more than 500,000 copies in two months. In addition to appealing to a non-traditional audience for video games, Barbie Fashion Designer was also innovative in that players could design clothes for their Barbie dolls and print them on special fabric, so taking the process into physical reality.

Wii Sports was also innovative in its blend of virtual and real, as anybody who spent Christmas 2006 with sore shoulders because of too much hitting an imaginary tennis ball with their Wii controller will testify. Wii Sports let players wave their Nintendo Wii controller in the air to serve a tennis ball, hurl a bowling bowl, throw a left hook, or drive a golf ball.

In 1971, Computer Space was the first commercial video game, with coin-operated machines located in arcades. Computer Space was a shoot-em-up game where the player fired missiles at flying saucers controlled by the game. The limits of having to create the machines as well as the game meant it wasn't a huge seller, but it did inspire its creators to go on to establish Atari Inc.

You could say that the final game to be added, The Last of Us, had the hardest time in standing out, as there were lots of other post-apocalyptic zombie games already around when it was launched in 2013. The video games curators at the Hall of Fame say that Last of Us stood out among the rest with its in-depth storytelling, intimate exploration of humanity, thrilling game jumps and cutscenes, and its memorable characters.

The winning games will be on permanent view in the new World Video Game Hall of Fame space opening June 30.

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More Information

World Video Game Hall of Fame

The Strong National Museum of Play

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Last Updated ( Friday, 12 May 2023 )