- The 2020 class of inductees were chosen by a selected group of individuals on a nomination committee which include accomplished gamers, journalists and past Hall of Fame inductees who have extensive knowledge of the achievements in gaming.
- There were three phases in the decision process: Open nominations, committee and board input for narrowing down of the ballot and then a final decision from the voting committee that 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 voting committee and approved by IVGHOF Board of Directors.
We are pleased to announce the following individuals and video games are being inducted for the Class of 2020:
Golden Age Gamer
Donn Nauert – Donn served as Team Captain for the US National Video Game team in the late 1980s. He is in the Guinness Book of World Records for high scores on Crossbow, Cheyenne and Vertigo and is mentioned seven times between 1985 and 1987. Donn would move into the industry side, working for several magazines, Electronic Gaming Monthly and VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, and video game companies such as Acclaim Entertainment and THQ during the 1990s. Today, Nauert is a teacher in the Austin, Texas area where he coaches/sponsors the school’s eSports team and is working to establish eSports as an officially sanctioned school activity at the high school level.
Tomo Ohira – Ranked #1 Street Fighter player of the 1990’s. He is widely regarded as the natural of his sport. From the retelling, he was unbeatable, in an era when it was just local multiplayer, no quitting, no latency. He also has given expert instruction in Street Fighter 2, in a video revealing the secrets and strengths of ever character in the roster.
Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi – One of the greatest Fighting Game Champions of all time. Tokido has had 19+ Evolution top 8 finishes in 9 different games across 15 years. Tokido is considered to be one of Japan’s five “fighting game gods”. He is known for playing multiple fighting games on a competitive level in addition to Street Fighter, including Tekken, Marvel vs Capcom 3, and BlazBlue.
Golden Age Game
Pong – The first commercially successful video game, and it helped to establish the video game industry. Pong is a table tennis sports game featuring simple two-dimensional graphics, manufactured by Atari and originally released in 1972. By 1973, the company had filled 2,500 orders, and, at the end of 1974, sold more than 8,000 units.
1990s Era Game
Warcraft – The first three games in the Warcraft series, including their expansion packs, were all released on both the PC and Macintosh. In the 1990’s Warcraft paved the way to what has become the most popular MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) of all time.
2000s Era Game
Half Life 2 – 2004 first-person shooter game developed and published by Valve. Half-Life 2 received acclaim for its animation, sound, AI, graphics, and narrative. It won 39 Game of the Year awards, and has been cited as one of the greatest games of all time. By 2011, it had sold 12 million copies.
Guitar Hero – The Guitar Hero series has made a significant cultural impact, becoming a “cultural phenomenon”. The series currently has twelve major releases on gaming consoles, three on handheld game consoles, and four on mobile phones. The series has sold more than 25 million units worldwide, earning 2 billion dollars at retail.
2020 ACCEPTANCE By Activation “We’re really excited that the Guitar Hero franchise has been inducted into the “2000’s Era Game” category at the International VideoGame Hall of Fame. Guitar Hero put a cool new spin on the concept of letting players unleash their inner Rockstar. We’re really proud of the cultural impact that the series has had on the world. But, more importantly, the game brought people together in a way we never could have imagined. On behalf of everyone at Activision, thank you for this amazing honor.”
Will Wright – Wright’s greatest success to date comes from being the original designer for The Sims. The game spawned multiple sequels, including The Sims 2, The Sims 3, and The Sims 4 and expansion packs, and Wright has earned many awards for his work. At one time, The Sims was the best selling PC game of all time. His latest work, Spore, was released in September 2008 and features gameplay based upon the model of evolution and scientific advancement. The game sold 406,000 copies within three weeks of its release.
Mark Cerny – an American video game designer, programmer, producer and entertainment executive. Atari, Sega, Crystal Dynamics and Universal Interactive Studios before deciding to become an independent consultant under his own company Cerny Games in 1998. He since has frequently collaborated with Sony Interactive Entertainment, including being the lead designer for hardware of several PlayStation consoles, and has consulted with both Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games. In 2004, he was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Game Developers Association, and was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 2010.
Community Action Award
Keisha Howard – Keisha started Sugar Gamers over 10 years ago. She’s created a unique community, united not only by common interests in gaming and geek culture, but by the mission of promoting diversity and inclusiveness in a space that often suffers from the lack of it. Her journey has afforded her the opportunity to work with brands like SYFY, Watchmojo, AT&T, HBO, Nintendo, HTC, Microsoft, Google and more. She regards video games as more than just entertainment, but a system of ideas and processes that can move and inspire people to action.
Walter Day Lifetime Achievement Award
Gabe Newell – an American computer programmer and businessman best known as the co-founder of the video game developer and digital distribution company Valve. He also worked for Microsoft, where he worked as a producer for some of the early Windows operating systems. Intrigued by the prospect of having their own game development studio, Newell and Harrington left Microsoft in 1996 to found Valve, where Newell remains president.
The induction ceremony for the class of 2020 was held October 3rd, 2019 in Ottumwa, IA.
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.