‘Madden’ named to video game hall of fame


Associated Press

ROCHESTER, N.Y.

The World Video Game Hall of Fame has inducted “John Madden Football,” a giant of the multibillion-dollar video game industry that another new inductee – the 1962 “Spacewar!” – helped to launch.

“Tomb Raider” and “Final Fantasy VII” round out the class of 2018 honored Thursday at The Strong museum, where the hall of fame is housed.

The inductees were chosen from among 12 finalists that included: “Ms. Pac-Man,” “Asteroids,” ‘’Call of Duty,” ‘’Dance Dance Revolution,” ‘’Half-Life,” ‘’King’s Quest,” ‘’Metroid” and ‘’Minecraft.”

Experts say all have made a mark on the video game industry, popular culture and society in general.

Long before any commercial video games existed, Steve “Slug” Russell and other students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched “Spacewar!” on a PDP-1 minicomputer. The game featured two starships firing torpedoes at each other and inspired the first mass-market arcade video game, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell’s “Computer Space,” according to The Strong.

“It also spurred computer users of all types to think about creative new uses for computers and helped turn the computer into the most powerful plaything ever created,” said Jon-Paul Dyson, vice president and director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games.

The success of “John Madden Football” underlines the point, having sold more than 100 million copies and inspiring big-money tournaments and legions of fans. Electronic Arts has released yearly, updated versions since 1990, and even real-life football players have seen it as a tool to hone strategy and plays.

“‘John Madden Football’s’ action-oriented game play has changed the way we play and consume sports video games – and even the way actual sports games are broadcast,” said Jeremy Saucier, a Strong assistant vice president.

Members of the class of 2018 are now on permanent view at The Strong.

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