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These are the 2021 nominees for the World Video Game Hall of Fame

A collection by The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play’s nominees for 2021’s Hall of Fame, with each game shown in their original packaging. Image: The Strong National Museum of Play
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

The Strong National Museum of Play has announced the 2021 finalists for the World Video Game Hall of Fame. There are tons of familiar games among this year’s selection: Animal Crossing, Call of Duty, FarmVille, FIFA International Soccer, Guitar Hero, Mattel Football, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Pole Position, Portal, StarCraft, Tron, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

The Hall of Fame is meant 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,” according to the announcement.

This year has a varied crop of nominees. Animal Crossing is lauded for being “a success with casual and advanced gamers alike” that spawned plenty more sequels. Valve’s Portal earned the nominee for being “a major advance in puzzle games.”

“Portal provided a unique gaming experience accompanied by witty dialogue, an ever-twisting plotline, and unforgettable characters,” The Strong National Museum of Play wrote in the nominee announcement. “It sold a respectable four million copies, but it was most lauded for its technical and design achievements.”

In previous years, four to six games have gone on to enter the Hall of Fame. 2020’s inductees were Minecraft, Bejeweled, Centipede, and King’s Quest.

The final picks for 2021 will be announced at The Strong museum on Thursday, May 6 at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

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