I wrote about the Video Game Hall of Fame and its inaugural class a few weeks ago. Here are your results.
I was right on four of them, the four I thought were slam dunks: Tetris, Pac-Man, Pong, and Super Mario Bros. I assumed there’d be five winners; my #5 pick was the Sims, based on the online polling at the time. Instead, there were six winners, and I didn’t even guess at #5 and #6: DOOM and World of Warcraft.
If I were going to compare the video game Hall of Fame to the baseball Hall of Fame, Pong, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and Pac-Man are pretty much your inaugural baseball class — Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, and Walter Johnson. (Sorry, Christy Mathewson — you don’t get into this analogy.) You, the reader, can decide which is which, but they are all no doubters that any idiot (like me!) could figure it out.
DOOM really made the modern day FPS possible, which, whether we like it or not, tends to dominate modern gaming, especially on console, along with sports games. They weren’t the first, but they were the most popular. If he was already in the Hall, I’d say DOOM is Derek Jeter. DOOM has to be a Yankee. Somebody legitimately good, but not quite as good as everyone thought, and spawned a bunch of imitators who were wildly overrated. I think Reggie Jackson is a fair comparison.
World of Warcraft is the culmination of a series of games much older, and one unlikely to spawn any imitators who are a serious threat. MMORPGs have peaked with WOW and I can’t see anybody else challenging that. If the Old Republic couldn’t, nothing can. Some of the glimmer is faded, but it’s still going strong, and we’ll never see its like again. Tony Gwynn seems a really good fit. Hitters who rely on the raw ability to make contact and hit intelligently, without hitting for much power, and still contribute offensively in a huge way are all but vanished now. I’d use Ichiro as my comparison if he had already entered the HOF.