The 2023 inductees for the Video Game Hall of Fame have been revealed, and Barbie's leading the pack. Her 1996 video game Barbie Fashion Designer was among the four games that join New York's The Strong National Museum of Play.
Other inductees include the original PlayStation 3 version of The Last of Us from 2013, 2006's Wii Sports, and 1971's Computer Space. The four titles were chosen based on a criteria of their icon status (being recognized/widely remembered) and influence (how future games/other forms of entertainment have been affected by their existence).
2023's candidates were announced back in March, and also included the likes of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007) and Angry Birds.
The Strong wrote Barbie Fashion Designer "emerged at a time when many games were marketed to male players. [...] It was innovative in bridging the gap between the digital and the physical, allowing players to design clothes for their Barbie dolls and print them on special fabric."
It also added that in selling over 500,000 copies in two months, the game "helped greatly expand the market for video games. And in the process, it opened important—and ongoing—discussions about gender and stereotypes in gaming."
Similar praise was given to the other winners. The Last of Us was called out for maintaining popularity because of "its quality of gameplay and strength of story." Wii Sports was said by a curator for the museum to have "made gamers out of millions of people around the world who’d never thought about playing one before."
Finally, Computer Space "proved that video games could reach an audience outside of computer labs. [...] It didn’t bring video games to the masses, but by showing that video games could reach paying audiences outside of computer labs, it laid the foundations for the game industry."
The full statements for each of the four winners can be read on the Video Game Hall of Fame's website. The four games will have a permanent view at the museum in Rochester, New York beginning on June 30.