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‘Animal Crossing,’ ‘StarCraft’ and more join 2021 World Video Game Hall of Fame

By Kara Santos Published May 10, 2021 3:30 pm Updated May 10, 2021 4:25 pm

The class of 2021 was recently revealed for the World Video Game Hall of Fame, which recognizes video games that have a significant impact on the world of gaming or pop culture.

The Strong Museum based in Rochester, New York inducted Animal Crossing, StarCraft, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, and Microsoft Flight Simulator to their Hall of Fame in a virutal ceremony held Thursday, May 6, 2021.

The top four Hall of Famers were chosen from a list of 12 previously announced finalists, which included Call of Duty, FarmVille, FIFA International Soccer, Guitar Hero, Mattel Football, Pole Position, Portal, and Tron.

Since 2015, The World Video Game Hall of Fame has been recognizing individual electronic games of all types (arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile) that have had a significant impact and enoyed popularity across international boundaries.

Submissions to the Hall of Fame are open to the public, with nominations carefully reviewed and selected by a panel of journalists and game historians. 

Here's a closer look at the four chosen titles by The Strong Museum and their contributions to the gaming world.

Animal Crossing

In Nintendo's Animal Crossing, a player assumes the role of a human who moves to a new, randomly generated town inhabited by sentient, anthropomorphic animals. The social simuation game first debuted in 2001 for the Nintenndo 64 and GameCube and became a breakout hit again last year. 

The latest installment to the series, 2020’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo Switch) broke the console game record for most digital units sold in a single month, selling more than 31 million copies worldwide as its virtual version of neighborly sociability engaged players isolated in the midst of a global pandemic.


California-based developer Blizzard Entertainment took the real-time strategy genre to new heights in 1998 with the debut of StarCraft. The single-player mode of the immersive, science-fiction game proved popular, but the multiplayer mode, which included a ladder ranking system, turned it into the largest e-sports title of its day.

Starcraft is regarded as one of the best real-time strategy games of all time, with expansions, sequels, and licensed merchandise showing just how popular it is. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator

For nearly four decades, Microsoft Flight Simulator has provided millions of players endless hours of game play by providing highly realistic but intuitive recreations of real-life airplanes. Its simple premise and accessible content disguises the advanced programming that has made it so successful. Since its launch in 1982, the game has been regularly updated and remains the most popular, longest lasting, and most influential flying sim of all time.

In 2020, Microsoft released a spectacular updated version of the game that used real-life images to give players the experience of soaring over their hometowns or visiting exotic locales, proving once again that the joy of flight is universal.

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Released by Brøderbund in 1985, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? spawned one of the best-selling “edutainment” franchises, combining education and entertainment. Designed for the first generation of graphic-enabled personal computers, the title made learning world geography fun for millions of students as they searched for the whereabouts of the mysterious Carmen Sandiego.

The game, which inspired various geography-based games and sequels, also inspired a hit show on American Public Broadcasting in the 1990s and an animated series on Netflix (2019-2021)—making Carmen Sandiego still recognizable as ever today.

The four titles join last year's inductees, Bejeweled, Centipede, King's Quest, and Minecraft

You can watch the entire video presentation by The Strong Museum for the 2021 inductees, along with remarks from represantives of the developers and game publishers in the video below.

Congratulations the the 2021 World Video Game Hall of Fame inductees!

(Images via The Strong Museum)