ESPN The Magazine primarily covers sports, so I was surprised to see a page in its recent “Hall of Fame” theme issue devoted to a list of miscellaneous pop culture halls of fame, two of which may be of interest to readers.
(1) The Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour Hall of Fame, was created in 2005. This was the first I’d heard that the game had a Pro Tour, let alone a Hall of Fame, yet for some reason I still expected to recognize someone on list of inductees. I guess I’ve grown accustomed to finding fans in every niche activity ever spawned by the sf/fantasy genre, from running blood drives to competing in the Space Elevator Games.
I looked particularly for Drew Sanders’ name, remembering how he used to preside over Magic games at the LASFS clubhouse. He even wrote an introductory article about collecting the cards in File 770. But no Drew. And I’ve never heard of any of others, either.
(2) The Robot Hall of Fame began online. It was established in 2003 by CarnegieMellonUniversity’s School of Computer Science and honors both real and fictional robots. Then, in 2009, CarnegieScienceCenter in Pittsburgh incorporated a physical Robot Hall of Fame display into roboworld™, the world’s largest permanent robotics exhibit.
Inductees to the Robot Hall of Fame in 2012, selected by popular vote, were Aldebaran Robotics’ NAO humanoid, iRobot’s PackBot bomb disposal robot, Boston Dynamics’ four-legged BigDog and WALL-E, the fictional robot in the Pixar movie.
Making my own search, I found one more hall worth mentioning in this post:
(3) The International Space Hall of Fame at the New MexicoMuseum of Space History in Alamogordo, NM. Lots of astronauts and engineers are in this hall, created in 1976 to “recognize the imagination, efforts, and achievements of those who have endeavored to advance man’s knowledge of the universe, and his ability to explore space.”
As for the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, transferred in 2004 from the GunnCenter for the Study of Science Fiction to Seattle’s Science Fiction Museum, not even Paul Allen’s money could sustain the place as originally conceived.
For awhile the impressive Gehry-designed building near the Space Needle housed coequal science fiction and rock music museums. But the Science Fiction Museum was de-installed in 2011 and the EMP has been reorganized as a pop culture museum that includes science-fiction-themed exhibits.