It’s hard to imagine a video game dominating more screen time than Microsoft’s Solitaire has since first introduced with Windows 3.0 in 1990. It’s been the go-to distraction for procrastinators for almost three decades, and it’s finally being honoured with a rightful place in the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
Today, The Strong’s National Museum of Play officially announced all the 2019 World Video Game Hall of Fame inductees, and this year Windows Solitaire is being joined by Super Mario Kart, Mortal Kombat, and the deepest cut: a 1976 text-based title called Colossal Cave Adventure which paved the way for today’s sprawling, fantasy-based games.
Mortal Kombat and Super Mario Kart both had tremendous influences on their respective categories as well. Racing games that focused on collecting items and fun weapons quickly became serious competition for traditional racing simulators that focused on realism. And Mortal Kombat not only paved the way for the gratuitous and controversial over-the-top depictions of violence in modern games, it was also partly responsible for the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) back in 1994.
As for Windows Solitaire, Microsoft claims that some 35 billion solitaire hands are dealt each year through the operating system (Microsoft tracks our procrastination?) but numbers on how many players actually get to enjoy that hypnotic game-winning animation are unknown.
So who didn’t make the cut this year? Unfortunately, fans of Half-Life, Asteroids, Dance Dance Revolution, Call of Duty, Ms. Pac-Man, King’s Quest, Metroid, and Minecraft will have to wait until 2020 until those short-listed finalists get another shot at the hall of fame.