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Animal Crossing, Starcraft, and more inducted into World Video Game Hall of Fame

Animal Crossing: New Horizons cherry blossom cherry blossom
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The World Video Game Hall of Fame has announced its four 2021 inductees: Animal Crossing, Starcraft, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? The inductees were announced in an official (opens in new tab)press release

The World Video Hall of Fame, which is located in The Strong Museum in Rochester NY, announced the four winners today. They emerged from a group of finalists that include some other big-name franchises. These were this year's finalists who didn't make the cut:

  • Call of Duty
  • FarmVille
  • FIFA 
  • Guitar Hero
  • Mattel Football
  • Pole Position
  • Portal 
  • Tron

The museum makes the final selection based on "the advice of journalists, scholars, and other individuals familiar with the history of video games and their role in society." It's no surprise the above-mentioned four titles were inducted (especially with the recent popularity of both Microsoft Flight Simulator and Animal Crossing: New Horizons), but the World Video Game Hall of Fame details why these four were chosen over the other fantastic titles that were in the running this year.

"The low stakes of Animal Crossing also allowed people to play at their own leisure without penalty. These elements may help explain why its latest installment proved such a huge hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, when everyone was searching for a little neighborly sociability," says research historian Racquel Gonzales. 

"It's hard to overestimate what a groundbreaking program Microsoft Flight Simulator was when it debuted in 1983," says Jeremy Saucier, assistant vice president for interpretation and electronic games. And Starcraft "added a new twist to the strategy game formula," according to digital games curator Andrew Borman, while Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego spawned a massive edutainment game franchise that even has a Google Earth tie-in. 

The World Video Game Hall of Fame was established in 2015 to recognize iconic games of all types (including console, computer, arcade, mobile, and more), that "have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and the society in general."

Will any of the new games of 2021 be future hall of fame inductees?

Alyssa Mercante
Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.