'The Last of Us' and 'Wii Sports' join the World Video Game Hall of Fame

'Computer Space' and 'Barbie Fashion Designer' are this year's other inductees.

The Strong

The Strong National Museum of Play has revealed this year's inductees into the World Video Game Hall of Fame. There are four games in the class of 2023: The Last of Us, Wii Sports, Barbie Fashion Designer and Computer Space. They were selected based on a number of criteria, including their influence and popularity over time.

The Last of Us is the most recent one of the bunch. Naughty Dog's post-apocalyptic action adventure has rarely been out of the limelight over the last 10 years. A TV series based on the game debuted on HBO in January and it was an enormous hit with critics and audiences. A remake of the original game hit PS5 in September and PC in March, though the latter had a buggy launch, unfortunately.

Going backwards from there, Wii Sports arrived in 2006. Partly because it was bundled in with the massively successful Wii and partly because everyone was playing it, the ever-entertaining sports sim went on to become one of the biggest-selling games of all time. Last year, Nintendo recaptured the magic fairly well on Switch with Nintendo Switch Sports (for the record, my Mii's nickname is Party Gramps).

Back in 1996, Mattel and Digital Domain released Barbie Fashion Designer. It allowed players to design clothing that they could print and dress their real-life Barbie dolls with. The game was a hit, selling half a million copies in two months.

Barbie Fashion Designer became a jumping-off point for the girls’ games movement and shook up the software and gaming scene," Kristy Hisert, collections manager at The Strong, said. "It also sparked important questions and debate. What does it mean to be a game for girls? Should there even be games ‘for girls’? What are the implications of these games? What are the consequences of gendering games?”

The final member of the class of 2023 is the first ever commercially available video game. Computer Space was an arcade title based on 1962's Spacewar!, which was primarily found on the DEC PDP-1 minicomputer in computer labs. The success of 1971's Computer Space spurred creators Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney to found a little-known company called Atari.

These four titles are well-deserving inductees into the World Video Game Hall of Fame. This year's other finalists were Age of Empires, Angry Birds, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, FIFA International Soccer, Goldeneye 007, NBA 2K, Quake and Wizardry. The Strong, which is in Rochester, New York, will showcase the 2023 inductees (and presumably the ones from previous years) on a permanent basis in a new World Video Game Hall of Fame space, which will open on June 30th.