Video Games as Cultural Artifacts

By Deane Barker on March 12, 2007

Is That Just Some Game? No, It’s a Cultural Artifact: Video games now have an official-ish Hall of Fame.

On Thursday at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Mr. Lowood announced a game canon, an idea that grew out of a proposal submitted to the Library of Congress in September 2006 by a consortium made up of Stanford, the University of Maryland and the University of Illinois. […]

Mr. Lowood and the four members of his committee — the game designers Warren Spector and Steve Meretzky; Matteo Bittanti, an academic researcher; and Christopher Grant, a game journalist — announced their list of the 10 most important video games of all time:

  1. Spacewar! (1962)
  2. Star Raiders (1979)
  3. Zork (1980)
  4. Tetris (1985)
  5. SimCity (1989)
  6. Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990)
  7. Civilization I/II (1991)
  8. Doom (1993)
  9. Warcraft series (beginning 1994)
  10. Sensible World of Soccer (1994)

Wot?! No Project Gotham Racing 3?!? Doooodz, I pwn at that game!!!

All kidding aside, this is a good idea. If we’re going to name films are cultural significant, it’s only a matter of them before video games deserved the same honor.



  1. Aaahh….Zork.

    I remember it well – played it on my snazzy Commadore 64! Text based version of the game that was really quite impressive. I could type any comment or question and it would have some sort of response that made some sense (especially when I got the reply “real adventurers don’t use that kind of language) it was a good laugh!

  2. Re #1: It looks like these are all computer games and that arcade games aren’t included. I guess they’re not significant. :p

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