Microsoft Solitaire, the epic time-waster that has helped countless office workers get through the boring parts of their day, has been inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
Nintendo’s Super Mario Kart racing game and the ultra-violent fighting game Mortal Kombat were also inducted, along with the 1976 text-based adventure Colossal Cave Adventure.
The game has been distributed on more than a billion computers around the world since its debut in 1990 on the Windows 3.0 operating system. It has been localized into 65 languages, and is played in over 200 markets around the world, including Antarctica, according to Microsoft.
“It’s incredible to think that one of the most-played video games in the world got its start in 1990 as a way for Microsoft to teach users how to use a mouse,” Paul Jensen, studio manager for Microsoft Casual Games, said in a statement.
The game is based on the popular single player card game and Microsoft has said it was introduced to teach users how to use the computer mouse — which was relatively new at the time.
Wes Cherry wrote the program in his spare time as a Microsoft intern and said he did it for fun.
“I came up with the idea to write Solitaire for Windows out of boredom, really. There weren’t many games right at the time, so we had to make them,” Cherry said in a 2017 interview with Great Big Story. He said he didn’t make any money from his creation.
Jeremy Saucier with The Strong museum in Rochester, New York, which runs the hall of fame, said Solitaire helped paved the way for today’s huge casual gaming market.
“The game proved that sometimes analog games can be even more popular in the digital world and demonstrated that a market existed for games that appeal to people of all types,” Saucier said in a statement.
The World Video Game Hall of Fame was established in 2015 to honor electronic games that “that have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and society in general.”