The 2017 class of inductees were selected by accomplished gamers, journalists and video game industry executives who have extensive knowledge of the achievements in gaming.
There were three phases in the decision process: Open nomination, public and board input for narrowing down of the ballot and a final voting pool which decided which gamers, games, developers and industry leader would be inducted. The Community Action Award and Walter Day Lifetime Achievement Award were determined by open nominations and a final vote by the IVGHOF Board of Directors. Two categories had ties this year and it was decided to induct both winners instead of narrowing it down to one person as both individuals are very deserving of being inducted.
We are pleased to announce the following individuals and video games are being inducted:
Golden Age Gamers
Rebecca Heineman won the National Space Invaders Championship, sponsored by Atari, in November 1980. She was the first person to ever win a national video game contest. In addition, Heineman is a video game programmer who was the founding member of Interplay Productions, Logicware and Contraband Entertainment. She has been affiliated with a number of other game companies and is currently CEO of Olde Sküül in Seattle.
Michael Klug, a Quality Assurance Manager, has worked for Atari, Konami and Namco.
After seeing his name in the Guinness World Records book for Pole Position 2, Atari called and offered him a job. Klug held the world record on Pole Position 2 – Fuji Track for 25 years. He achievement is listed as one of six “Records that may never be broken” for achieving a score of more than 60,000 points while playing Pole Position with his feet at the Twin Galaxies arcade in Ottumwa, IA. In addition, Klug has been named one of the top 100 players in North America by the Amusement Players Association.
Joel West was featured in the Chasing Ghosts Documentary and is a world record gamer who has a number of world records on games including Berzerk, Frenzy, Pole Position, Propcycle and more.
90’s eSports Competitor
Chris Ayra was a gaming legend long before most of today’s gamers were even born. As one of the original pillars of arcade gaming, Chris Ayra was the Guinness World Records Ms. Pac-Man champion for nearly 20 years. Good at nearly every game in the arcade, Chris led a core group of gamers who studied the dynamics of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man and created the “grouping techniques” that were used to get to the final screens on these maze games. On February 16, 2000, Chris used these techniques to achieve a “perfect” Pac-Man score of 3,333,360 points.
2000’s eSports Competitor
Carrie Swidecki is a teacher from Bakersfield, California, who holds various dance game world records and encourages students to exercise through video games like Just Dance and in general. She holds multiple Guinness World Records, including “Longest marathon on a dance/ rhythm game” on Dance Dance Revolution, “longest marathon on a motion sensing dance game” on Dance Central 2, and in 2013 set records simultaneously for “longest marathon on a dance or rhythm game” and “longest marathon on a dance/rhythm game” by playing Just Dance for 49 hours, 3 minutes and 22 seconds. She is the only person in the world to hold a world record for marathon play on all three major dance games.
Justin Wong is a professional fighting game player who has won more Evolution Championship Series titles than anyone else and has eight titles in the Marvel vs. Capcom series as well as 1st place rankings in several other games through the years.
Golden Age Game – Donkey Kong
90s Era Game – Sonic the Hedgehog
2000s Era Game – Halo
Modern Age Game – Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild
Game Developer – Warren Davis
Warren Davis is best known for developing Q*bert, a classic arcade game. Other arcade games he worked on include, but aren’t limited to, Joust 2, Lotto Fun, Exterminator, Terminator 2 and Revolution X. He developed the video digitization system used in Williams/Midway video games starting in the late 1980s. For More on Warren click here!
Industry Leader – Howard Phillips
Howard Phillips is an American video game producer and consultant. He is best known as being the spokesperson for Nintendo of America in the 80s. Phillips career at Nintendo started out in the warehouse and he climbed the ladder becoming a Game Master, then the creator of the Nintendo Fan Club News and Nintendo Power. After leaving Nintendo, he worked for LucasArts, THQ and Microsoft before launching Howard Phillips Consulting and becoming a studio director of Chair Entertainment Group.
Community Action Award – ExtraLife
ExtraLife is an annual fundraising event, launched in 2008, which raises funds which go to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Each year gamers stream video games both as individuals and teams as part of a telethon-like event to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In 2017, 50,000 gamers participated and raised more than 11 million dollars. 100% of all donations go directly to the hospitals.
Walter Day Lifetime Achievement Award
David Crane is one of the most experienced creators of video games in the world, with over 30 years of experience in video game creation, development, and
publishing. As an early Atari employee and founder of Activision, David was instrumental in launching the multi-billion dollar third-party video game software
industry. Since 2009 he has concentrated on publishing mobile games for the smartphone market, including the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
David is best known for his whimsical game play: finding amusing and compelling ways for the game player in all of us to interact with on-screen characters. Through boundless creativity, David’s characters are brought to life; from Pitfall Harry (in Pitfall!™ – the world’s first side-view Adventure game), or the chicken who crossed the road in Freeway!™, to the shape-changing, jellybean-eating blob from the vitamin-deficient planet of Blobolonia in A Boy and His Blob™.
Audiences continue to clamor for games from this legendary game creator. David’s games, regardless of platform, are magical, always challenging but never overtly violent, and the perfect combination of technical prowess and creative genius. As Tom Clancy pointed out in one of his Op-Center books, “you could always tell a David Crane game.”
David has published over 80 commercial products with revenues of over $400 million. Selected industry Awards include the 2010 Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Pioneer Award, the 2009 IGN.COM “Top 100 Game Creators of All Time”, the 2003 Game Developers Choice “First Penguin Award”, and the 1990 Parent’s Choice Award for A Boy and His Blob. – For More on David click here!
The induction ceremony for the class of 2017 will be held October 4-6 in Ottumwa, IA.
For more information: http://www.ivghof.info/
About the International Video Game Hall of Fame
Located in Ottumwa, Iowa, the International Video Game Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring excellence in the field of electronic gaming by recognizing the champions, industries and professionals related to this popular activity. We will build and maintain a state-of-the art interactive facility containing historical archive exhibits describing the historic milestones of the video game industry, and preserve significant video gaming relics, memorabilia and artifacts of the times past and present.
David Crane is one of the most experienced creators of video games in the world, with over 30 years of experience in video game creation, development, and publishing. As an early Atari employee and founder of Activision, David was instrumental in launching the multi-billion dollar third-party video game software industry. Since 2009 he has concentrated on publishing mobile games for the smartphone market, including the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
David is best known for his whimsical gameplay: finding amusing and compelling ways for the game player in all of us to interact with on-screen characters. Through boundless creativity, David’s characters are brought to life; from Pitfall Harry (in Pitfall!™ – the world’s first side-view Adventure game), or the chicken who crossed the road in Freeway!™, to the shape-changing, jellybean-eating blob from the vitamin-deficient planet of Blobolonia in A Boy and His Blob™.
Audiences continue to clamor for games from this legendary game creator. David’s games, regardless of platform, are magical, always challenging but never overtly violent, and the perfect combination of technical prowess and creative genius. As Tom Clancy pointed out in one of his Op-Center books, “you could always tell a David Crane game.” David has published over 80 commercial products with revenues of over $400 million. Selected industry Awards include the 2010 Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Pioneer Award, the 2009 IGN.COM “Top 100 Game Creators of All Time”, the 2003 Game Developers Choice “First Penguin Award”, and the 1990 Parent’s Choice Award for A Boy and His Blob.
Professional Achievement Summary
- 35 years of experience in video game hardware and software design
- Designed or co-designed more than 80 entertainment products.
- Product revenues in excess of $400 million retail.
- Dozens of industry awards, including Designer of the Year, Parent’s Choice, and prestigious 2003 Game Developer Choice Award for contribution to the field.
- Recipient of the inaugural AIAS Pioneer Award.
- Several games with unit sales over 1,000,000.
- Profiled in national press, including Forbes and Newsweek.
- Pitfall! game was so popular that it spawned a Saturday morning cartoon show.
- Produced hit products with sales throughout the US, Europe, and Japan.
- Author of US Patent #4,644,495 for an improved Video Memory System.
- Appeared in multiple volumes of Who’s Who in Consumer Electronics.
Game Publisher Affiliations
- Atari, Inc.
- Activision, Inc.
- Hasbro Toys
- Absolute Entertainment, Inc.
- Skyworks Interactive, Inc.
- App Star Games, Inc.
- MTV / Nickelodeon Kids and Family
- J ungle V enture I nc.
2010 Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Pioneer Award – At the 13th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards held on February 18, 2010 Activision co-founder David Crane was presented with the Academy’s first ever Pioneer Award, celebrating his contribution to the creation of the Video Game Industry.
2009 IGN.COM “The Top 100 Game Creators of All Time” – In 2009 IGN.COM ran a feature called “The Top 100 Game Creators of All Time.” David Crane was featured at #12.
2003 Game Developers Choice “First Penguin Award” – “The IGDA’s First Penguin award celebrates the courage and bravery of a developer who is the first to test the proverbial waters, in the face of uncertainty of success or failure. Receiving a “penguin” serves as an inspiration and lesson to the community.”
1990 Parent’s Choice Award, A Boy and His Blob
1989 Video Games and Computer Entertainment, Best Strategy, A Boy and His Blob
1989 Video Games and Computer Entertainment, Most Innovative, A Boy and His Blob
1983 Video Games Magazine, Player’s Choice Award, Pitfall!
1982 VIRA Award, Video Game Designer of the Year
1982 Video Game Update, Designer of the Year
1982 Freeway Gold Cartridge, In Recognition of Sales in Excess of 500,000 Units
1982 Grand Prix Gold Cartridge, In Recognition of Sales in Excess of 500,000 Units
1982 Pitfall! Gold Cartridge, In Recognition of Sales in Excess of 500,000 Units
1982 Freeway Platinum Cartridge, In Recognition of Sales in Excess of 1,000,000 Units
1982 Laser Blast Platinum Cartridge, In Recognition of Sales in Excess of 1,000,000 Units
1982 Pitfall! Platinum Cartridge, In Recognition of Sales in Excess of 1,000,000 Units
1981 Best Audio and Visual Effects, Fishing Derby
iPhone publications: Catopult (Part of AG Mobile), Arcade Bowling™, Ten Pin Championship Bowling®, Boardwalk Games™, Arcade Hoops Basketball™, 3 Point Hoops®, Arcade QB Pass Attack™, Field Goal Frenzy™, Stellar Blast!™, 2600 Magic, Dragster Magic, The Iron Horse
Console Games: Pitfall!™, Pitfall II, Lost Caverns™, Freeway™, Laser Blast™, Fishing Derby™, Dragster™, Grand Prix™, A Boy and His Blob™, The Rescue of Princess Blobette™, Little Computer People™, Ghostbusters™, Skateboardin’™, Super Skateboardin’™, The Activision Decathlon™, T*O*Y*S™, Home Improvement: Power Tool Persuit, Transformers®, the computer game, David Crane’s Amazing Tennis™, Bart Simpson’s Escape from Camp Deadly™, March of the Penguins™, CHOMP™, Canyon Bomber™, Outlaw™, Slot Machine™
Online Casual Games: Lotto Letters®, Super Swish, Stellar Blast!™, Mercury® Mariner® Hybrid Infomercial, Lacrosse Shootout, Beach Volleyball, Spiderman® Climbing game, Miller® Seat Salsa*, Super Cocoa Man, Break the Rules Hoops, Downfield Strike, Mini Motocross, Pebbles® Robopup Run, Toyota® 4runner® Challenge, Tyco® RC Speed Wrench, Vertical Jam, E.T.’s Adventure, Bubble Yum® Home Run Derby, Bubble Yum® Bullpen Blast, Gummi Bunnies® Egg Hunt, Foul Shot Shootout, LifeSavers® Water Park Pinball, Field Goal Challenge, Creme Savers® Bowling, Golf Solitaire, Skyworks Lanes Bowling, Carefree® on Ice, Gummi Savers® Rock-N-Skate, YIPES!® Photo Safari, Ice Breakers® Slap Shot Shootout, Southpark® Pinball, Breath Savers® Road Rally, Ford® NASCAR® racing challenge, MTv® Cranks Dirt Bike Game, Ice Breakers® Ultimate Bobsled, Breath Savers® Billiards, Snackwells® Chocolate Factory Pinball, Snowboard Big Air, Skate Rage Inline Skating, Candystand™ Miniature Golf, LifeSavers® Word Challenge, Candystand™ Tennis Open, Mountain Climbing, 3 Point Shootout, Grand Slam Pinball, Nabisco World™ Team Racing, Soccer Shootout, LifeSavers® Treasure Hunt, Oreo® Adventure, LifeSavers® Roll-A-ball, Air Crisps® Slam Dunk, Fruit Chews® BMX, Postopia™ Bowling, Technical Expertise
In addition to being one of the most successful video game software designers in the world, David is an accomplished electronic engineer with experience in Hardware Design in the fields of Analog Circuitry, Digital Circuitry, Semiconductor Design, Computer Architecture, and Circuit Layout. This expertise in Hardware Design provides the foundation for his work in the highly technical field of Video Game Design.
As the video game has evolved throughout his 30+ year career, so has the technology. To create the diverse assortment of games he has published, David has mastered at least 24 Computer Languages, including those required by More than 20 Video Game Consoles.
Warren Davis began his career in video games in 1982 working for Gottlieb Amusement Games outside Chicago. He got his feet wet as a supplemental programmer on an unreleased super-hero game which went by many names, then went on to design and program the wildly popular Q*bert. He followed that up with Faster Harder More Challenging Q*bert, which was never officially released, but is now available through MAME. His next game, Us. Vs. Them, was an innovative laserdisc game in which filmed scenes featuring live actors advanced a sci-fi invasion story amidst aerial combat gameplay between computer generated jet fighters and UFOs composited over flying sequences filmed all over the country. When Gottlieb closed its doors, Warren left the industry for a short time, only to return to Williams where he co-programmed Joust 2 and, as a consultant on loan to H.A.R. Management, Lotto Fun, a redemption game. He coded the display system for Williams’ new 256 color system, first used on the game Narc, and began exploring the use of digitized images – incorporating videotaped elements into a game with near photo quality. He left Williams to become a consultant for Premier Technologies where he helped develop an arcade system and created the game, Exterminator, a surreal bug killing game which was critically acclaimed, but never went into full production. Then he returned to Williams/Bally/Midway, where he joined the team working on T2:Judgement Day, a first person shooter based on the hit movie. He upgraded his video digitization system (called WTARG) to allow live action in front of a blue screen to be instantly imported into development hardware. This system was integral to the development of the Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam series of games, and was used on virtually all of Midway’s games in the early 1990’s. (Warren is one of a number of Williams/Bally/Midway employees whose name and head can be played in the arcade version of NBA Jam Tournament Edition.) Warren’s last game at Williams/Bally/Midway was Revolution X featuring Aerosmith. That game used Warren’s pseudo 3D display engine which allowed a first person viewpoint with forward, backward and side-to-side motion, without using 3D hardware. In 1995, Warren moved to Los Angeles to work for Disney Interactive on a variety of home titles. For a short time, he was an Imagineer with Walt Disney Imagineering. After Disney, he worked as a senior programmer on the console game Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, followed by an edutainment title, The Lunar Explorer, which allows users to interactively explore any part of the moon either from space or on the ground using actual topographic data. He spent some time as an R&D Engineer at Industrial Light and Magic working on previsualization software for movies, and is currently a software consultant.
Best selling Indie game of all time – 60 million copies sold
First Release to public as a beta in 2009
Minecraft’s music and sound effects were produced by Daniel “C418” Rosenfeld
Mojang, Created by Markus “Notch” Persson
Microsoft bought Mojang for 2.5 billion dollars
Available on PC and all modern day consoles
As of 2014, Xbox 360 users spent 1.75 billion hours playing
“Rock the Rock” $25,000 SEGA World Champion as broadcast worldwide on
MTV in 1994, Hawaii State Nintendo Champion, NWC 1990 City Champion, &
many other titles.
– Designer/developer from age 14 at Atari Games/Tengen (“Primal Rage”
1&2), Capcom (“Street Fighter III 3s”/”Alpha 3”), BPS (“Tetris”
titles),etc. Currently developer on indie game “Strike Harbinger”.
– As a cosplayer, winner of over 40 awards at competitions and events.
– Classic Tetris World Championship eSports announcer since 2010; voice
of “Boom! Tetris for Jeff!”.
– Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona
– Favorite arcade games: Street Fighter II’ Turbo Hyper Fighting, Dance
Dance Revolution Extreme
– Favorite game console is the NEC PC Engine (TurboDuo)
– Won the Hawaii State Nintendo Championships – his first competition –
– City Champion of Los Angeles in the Nintendo World Championships in
– Won 3rd place in the very first officially recognized Street Fighter
II Tournament, held on May 30, 1991 at Sunnyvale Golfland, the original
site of the eSports tournament series now known as “EVO”.
– Won the Sega World Championships “Rock the Rock” in 1994; $25,000
prize, televised internationally on MTV.
– Misc. Titles: 3-time CAX Street Fighter II Turbo Champion, winner of
Hawaii State Mortal Kombat & Mortal Kombat II Championships, 3rd place
E3 Street Fighter Alpha 2 Championship, winner of E3 Marvel Vs Capcom 2
Championship officiated by Walter Day, Working Designs Raystorm $10,000
high score contest winner, and many others.
– As a cosplayer, winner of over 40 awards at various events and
competitions including Best in Show at Wondercon and Best Craftsmanship
at Anime Expo.
– At 14, began working at Atari Games/Tengen on games such as “Gauntlet
IV”, “Rampart”, and the unreleased “Cyberstorm” for which he designed
the first use of a combo meter in a video game, which was copied by
Capcom and used in Super Street Fighter II and countless games since.
– Game Designer on “Primal Rage” and “Primal Rage II”, implementing game
play and characters, writing the lore and story for the franchise used
for action figures, books and comics.
-Worked at Capcom on fan-favorite hits such as “Street Fighter III: 3rd
Strike”, “Marvel Vs. Capcom 1”, “Rival Schools”, “Street Fighter Alpha
3″, “Tech Romancer” and others.
– Design Consultant for BPS/Blue Planet Software on various “Tetris”
– Featured in films such as the award-winning “Ecstasy of Order: The
Tetris Masters” and “Gamer Age”, and on the HBO TV series “Entourage”.
– Ongoing guest appearances at conventions and events, often speaking
and presenting on topics such as game development and the history of
– In 2016, invited to join the modern-day U.S. National Video Game Team
– a dream come true since reading of their adventures and positive
mission throughout the 80’s.
– eSports commentator: advisor and finals announcer of the Classic
Tetris World Championship since 2010, and the voice of the “BOOM! Tetris
for Jeff!” meme from the 2016 event with 6 million+ views.
– Currently an indie game developer: Senior Game Designer and Programmer
– working with other former Atari veterans on the upcoming game
code-named “Flight Armor Project: Strike Harbinger” for arcade, PC and