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10 most important video games of all time, as judged by 2 designers, 2 academics, and 1 lowly blogger

lowood committee

Henry Lowood, curator of the History of Science and Technology Collections at Stanford University, and his four-member committee have announced the 'game canon', a list of games to be considered by the US Library of Congress for make benefit glorious history of interactive gaming culture. The canon grew from a proposal submitted to the Library of Congress last fall and is modeled on the efforts of the National Film Preservation Board, which produces an annual list of films that are subsequently added to the National Film Registry. The Registry is managed by the Library of Congress.

Lowood and company's initial list (below) attempts to single out the ten most important games of all time by selecting titles that represent the beginnings of significant game genres and concepts. The committee is comprised of game designers Warren Spector and Steve Meretzky (of Infocom fame), Lowood's Stanford cohort Matteo Bittanti, and -- what's this? -- Joystiq's Christopher Grant...? So that's why you've been strutting around the office with that nose-in-the-air attitude, eh? Too good for us, Mr. "I decide what's worthy" Grant? What a sham.

The inaugural selections:

  • Spacewar! (1962)

  • Star Raiders (1979)

  • Zork (1980)

  • Tetris (1985)

  • SimCity (1989)

  • Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990)

  • Civilization I/II (1991)

  • Doom (1993)

  • Warcraft series (beginning 1994)

  • Sensible World of Soccer (1994)