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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

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

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:

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.