Video Game Hall of Fame reveals finalists for May induction

This undated photo released by the The Strong museum shows the 15 finalists of the World Video Game Hall of Fame. (AP)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — “Sonic the Hedgehog,” ”Space Invaders” and “John Madden Football” are among 15 games named Tuesday as finalists for the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

The winners will be inducted May 5 at The Strong museum in Rochester, where the hall opened last year.

The contenders also include: “Elite,” ”Final Fantasy,” ”Grand Theft Auto III,” ”The Legend of Zelda,” ”Minecraft,” ”Nurburgring,” ”The Oregon Trail,” ”Pokemon Red and Green,” ”Sid Meier’s Civilization,” ”The Sims,” ”Street Fighter II” and “Tomb Raider.”

The finalists “span decades, gaming platforms and countries of origin, but what they all have in common is their undeniable impact on the world of gaming and popular culture,” said Jon-Paul Dyson, director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games.

The list was culled from thousands of nominations from more than 100 countries, hall officials said. An international advisory committee of journalists, scholars and others will guide the final selection.

“Whether it’s an iconic game like ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ a pioneering educational title like ‘The Oregon Trail,’ or an innovator like ‘Elite,’ which forever changed the design and development of other games,” Dyson said, “they’re among the most influential games of all time.”

Nominations for the hall can come from anyone and be from any platform — arcade, console, computer, handheld or mobile — but must be widely recognized and have influenced the design and development of other games or other forms of entertainment. They also must have been popular over time and in different countries.

The inaugural inductees last year included “Pong,” the game that introduced millions to electronic play, and “Doom,” which triggered a debate over the role of games and violence in society. Also inducted were “Super Mario Bros.,” ”Pac-Man,” ”Tetris” and “World of Warcraft.”