Here are the 2023 Video Game Hall of Fame inductees

Also, how games and gaming devices are being used in the Ukraine war.

Here are the 2023 Video Game Hall of Fame inductees
The Last of Us via Naughty Dog

Good morning, and happy Zelda week to those who celebrate. Here are the top stories of the week.

The 2023 World Video Game Hall of Fame inductees are…

Via The Strong Museum

The World Video Game Hall of Fame has four new inductees. The Strong Museum announced the 2023 class of games which influence the gaming industry and pop culture at large.The newest members are:

The Last of Us. The post-apocopoticalic game by Naughty Dog came out in 2013, and was revered by gamers and critics for its storytelling. Earlier this year, HBO created a popular show based on the game. Read more

Wii Sports. The game that came packaged with every new Wii was the reason most people bought the system. It popularized motion controls in a video game sports setting. Read more

Barbie Fashion Designer. In 1996, most video games were created for boys. Barbie Fashion Designer broke the trend, and quickly became one of the best selling games of the time, rivaling Quake and Doom.  Read more

Computer Space. The game that helped form Atari, and was one of the first production cabinet games. It established the blueprint for coin-activated video games that would help propel the arcade revolution. Read more

More than a game

TPO Media

While war games like Call of Duty are some of the most popular being made today, games and gaming hardware are also playing an important role in the Ukraine war.

The Steam Deck is a popular gaming system in the United States, but some 5,600 miles away it is also being used as a controller for real-world turrets. From a Vice report:

Soldiers in Ukraine are using Steam Decks to remotely operate a high-caliber machine gun turret. The weapon being controlled by the handheld video game consoles, called the “Sabre,” is unique to Ukraine and was built using money raised on a crowdfunding website that’s been operating since Russia first invaded Ukraine in 2014.

You can read more in this PC Gamer piece.

Meanwhile, a Finnish newspaper is using a popular game to circumvent Russian propaganda about the war. With outside media blocked and only Soviet state-run media available to Russians, the Finnish paper Helsingin Sanomat found a way to embed information in the popular game Counter-Strike. The newspaper created a custom map for the game that players can download. From The Guardian:

In the basement of one of the apartment buildings that make up the Soviet-inspired cityscape, Helsingin Sanomat hid a room where players can find Russian-language reporting by the newspaper’s war correspondents in Ukraine…
[P]layers can find a map of Ukraine that details reported attacks on the civilian population, while a Russian-language recording reading Helsingin Sanomat articles aloud plays in the background.

At the time of the article, the map had been downloaded over 2,000 times.

Phil Spencer discusses Redfall and Xbox


After poor reviews for the latest Xbox and PC exclusive Redfall, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer chatted with the folks at Kinda Funny Games Xcast. Some of the highlights include:

On the low review scores for Redfall, “I’m upset with myself,” Spencer says. “We do mock reviews for every game that we launch, and this is double digits lower than we thought we would be with this game.”

That’s one of the disappointing things; we would never strive to launch a game that we thought was going to review in the low 60s — it’s not part of our goals. [Redfall] was significantly lower than our internal metrics in terms of where it actually reviewed. But that’s not on anybody but us. We have to own that.

When asked if Microsoft had abandoned the Xbox to focus more on the PC, Spencer stated “We’re not in the business of out-consoling Sony or out-consoling Nintendo.”

We lost the worst generation to lose in the Xbox One generation where everybody built their digital library of games. So, when you go and you’re building on Xbox, we want our Xbox community to feel awesome, but this idea that if we just focused more on great games on our console that somehow we’re going to win the console race, I think doesn’t really lay into the reality of most people.

You can watch the interview in its entirety below.

Kevin Durrant in Call of Duty. Image via Activision. 

🎮 Don’t forget to claim the PS Plus Collection before tomorrow if you have a PlayStation 5 and PS Plus. Details here.

👩🏽‍ Riot Games, developers of League of Legends will compensate over 1,500 women in a gender discrimination case brought against the company.

🐉 Hey, you got your Lord of the Rings in my Dungeons & Dragons! Middle Earth comes to D&D 5th Edition Tuesday, May 9. Learn more or order it here.

💵 The new $70 price tag for video games appears to have a negative impact on sales.

🤖 Will AI reduce entry level jobs in game development?

🕷️ Not a fan of spiders? The recent Hogwarts Legacy patch rolls out an arachnophobia mode, which changes the appearance and mannerisms of spiders in the game. This is a good thing that some of the 15 million owners will enjoy.  

💵 If you are a Destiny 2 player, the price for the season pass is going up by $2, starting with season 21.  

🔮 Magic: The Gathering announced a timely crossover. The Doctor Who Commander decks arrive on October 13.

🏀 NBA All-Star Kevin Durrant will be a playable character in Call of Duty. The 6 foot 10 inch forward feels like he will be an easy target within the game.  

💰 The Super Mario movie hit the $1 billion mark in global box office revenue.

🕹 Last year’s indie video game hit Citizen Sleeper is getting a tabletop RPG.

New Releases this week:

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Check out our story on 10 new games to play in May.

5/8: Darkest Dungeon II (PC)
5/8: Cook Serve Forever (PC)
5/9: Pan'orama (PC)
5/10: Occupy Mars: The Game (PC)
5/11: Death or Treat (PC)
5/11: TT Isle of Man - Ride on the Edge 3 (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
5/12: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch)

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