First and foremost I don't recall the walk of fame to ever have a voting process where the fans are included. This already makes the selection process of who gets inducted a sham. Like in every game related poll or vote, the "most popular" will get in. Forget about the most deserving games, the games that changed the industry or reinvented a genre or pushed the boundries of gaming to new levels. No it will be the most popular. The game that game that looks cool, has a cool playable character and awesome music.
Halo, Mario, Sonic and Link as inductees to represent an entire history of gaming was a smart move but thats because they felt that they HAD to induct them. Why? Becuase they are gaming icons, they moved the industry, because everyone knows who they are and played their games. Thats reason enough. While I find Halo to be befitting of being inducted I feel that there are other older games that should've been inducted before hand. How about Wolfenstein? It's the world's first first person shooter and created a genre that Doom later made popular. What about Duck Hunt or other laser sighted gun games? Or even Dragon Warrior which was the first of a long running popular RPG series that helped make console RPG's a staple in gaming.
But no, in the current list of nominatins for the next Walk of Game we do have some deserving games and characters but also popular and cool games that did little to help the industry. I predict that out of those games series selected Final Fantasy, GTA, The Sims and Madden will be picked. Madden to me is deserving but in the series later years the games haven't been as revolutionary or different from previous years. GTA will be picked for sure since the mediocre series is way over hyped and the recent "Hot Coffee" incident gave it more twice the exposure( both good and bad) it recieved before.
My second biggest beef with the Walk of Game involves the Lifetime Achievement Award. I do like the idea of the Achievement Award, but there is one I have an issue with. Nolan Bushnell. He's the man whp created the company Atari, then later left and created Chuck E. Cheese, but he is NOT and should not be conisidered the father of Videogames. That honor belongs to Ralph Baer who created the first game console the Magnovox Odyssey. It was this device that Nolan Bushnell copied, improved upon and then later capitalized when the Atari 2600 was released in the 70's. And yet nobody at the Walk of Game realizes this. Probably because the institute is being ran by people with little knowledge of the gaming industry.
I am also shocked that in this years list of nominees, that Ralph Baer and Alexey Pajitnov are not on the ballet. We all know why Ralph should be on the ballet but what about Alexey. He created the world's most popular and most played puzzle game in history, Tetris.
He created a game that's had millions of people play it and hundreds of imitation clones by hundreds of companies. He should a shoe-in as a nominee but then again I reiterate that nobody who works at the Walk of Game does any kind of research.
Putting my objections aside however I do feel that the Walk of Game can be a pivotal poart of the industry. It just needs to be reworked. People need to perform more reasearch and find the games and icons that really pushed the industry forward. Some of the popular games are the industry pushers, games like Final Fantasy, Doom, Madden and The Elder Scrolls, but more often they're not. We end up with games like Civilization when we should be looking at Sim City. Or having GTA called revolutionary instead of Daggerfall. Its a shame, really it is.
I do hope that the Walk of Game evolves though. Its only in its second year of existance and there are many more years for improvement. Will Ralph Baer be a receptiant of the Lifetime Achievement award? Will Alexey get the praise he deserves and be an inductee as well? Will they get rid of the voting system that will only let the popular games in? Time will tell.
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