National Video Games Day

National Video Games Day - Thursday, September 12, 2024

Special Interest Technology

No reason to feel bad about not even seeing the light of day on September 12, because it’s National Video Games Day! Video games originated around 1940, but today, the video game industry is an 18 billion dollar industry that constantly churns out new fun favorites for all ages. The term “video game” encompasses all kinds of digital games, from old-school Mario games to hot new VR ones like “Beat Saber.” The huge array of video games means there will be something for everyone to play today — whether it’s an old arcade game or Fortnite. If a day alone doesn’t appeal to you, round up some friends for a multiplayer game!

History of National Video Games Day

These days, everyone can find a video game that gets them hooked. Not only does it depend on the gameplay style you like — strategy or combat? — you might have a particular penchant for games from a specific age. Some love old-timey arcade games, while others are excited by cutting-edge VR.

Surprisingly, the origin story of your favorite video game app in your pocket is actually in research labs. The earliest video games began in the 1950s in universities like the University of Cambridge and MIT. Some games that came out of these were virtual tic tac toe, and “Spacewar!”

When the first home console, designed in 1967 by the “Father of Video Games” Ralph Baer, hit the market, it inspired the classic Atari game “Pong.” Though there was a copyright infringement lawsuit, Atari still took off with the public when they released the Atari 2600. Some of the best games of the ensuing era include “Space Invaders” and “Donkey Kong” — sound familiar?

After the video game market crash in 1983, Japanese company Nintendo burst onto the scene. Nintendo is responsible for some of the most important franchises around — Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid. Nintendo found a challenger in Sega, driving the market into the 3D Gaming world.

The modern era of gaming was truly kicked off in the early 21st century with the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and the Wii. Video games then invaded media platforms and video game apps flooded the app stores. Lucrative competitions for skilled gamers have begun to spring up worldwide. These days, big video game console companies like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, have their sights set on VR — the exciting future of video gaming gets more and more lifelike every day!

National Video Games Day timeline


Esports Explosion

Though video gaming as a sport had existed since the 90s, it has seriously taken off since 2010, becoming a viable sport and way to make money for many gamers.


Gaming on the Go

For the first time, gamers can travel with their consoles as Nintendo releases the Game Boy in the summer.


The Ancestral Console

Atari’s first console, the Atari 2600, is released with games like “Frogger.”


Debut of the Video Game

The first video game, ‘Nim’ is introduced at the World’s Fair by Edward Condon.

National Video Games Day FAQs

Are there any good deals on National Video Games Day?

In the past, retailers like Amazon, Playstation, and Microsoft rolled out big deals on individual games and on consoles — check it out online!

Where can I find more content on National Video Games Day?

Many brands beyond gaming post on social media offering contests, tournaments, and more for National Video Games. Some past companies include Honda, and sports teams like the San Francisco 49ers and the Brooklyn Nets.

Where is National Video Games Day observed?

National Video Games Day is observed annually on the 12 of September within the United States.

5 Facts About Video Games That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Public libraries are in on the trend

    In an attempt to get children and teens more interested in books, libraries have started adding video games to their shelves.

  2. Gaming beefs up your brain

    In one study, adults who played Super Mario 64 for 2 hours a day developed increased brain volume over time!

  3. RPG Dreaming

    According to one study, those who play video games are more likely to have lucid dreams — where they can control what’s happening.

  4. Gaming as a national economic stimulus

    After Nokia’s downfall, Finland’s economy was greatly assisted by Clash of Clans.

  5. Gaming payout

    In 2019, a boy from the US won the largest single-person eSports payout - $3,000,000!

National Video Games Day Activities

  1. Round up friends for IRL gaming

    Multiplayer gaming is best done together IRL! It’s a great means of getting together with people who have the same console to connect in real life and digitally.

  2. Hit an arcade to relive the classics

    Who didn’t love growing up on PacMan? Spend some time at an old-school arcade remembering what it was like to be a kid with a quarter and a competitive spirit.

  3. Treat yourself to a newly released game

    If there’s ever a day to splurge on the newest craze in gaming, it’s today. All your friends have been talking about the new release and you’re desperate to give it a try? Go for it, then spend the rest of the day playing it with them!

Why We Love National Video Games Day

  1. They can actually be good for you (Sorry, Mom!)

    Though not all games offer the same educational value, many that include problem-solving and teamwork have been shown to increase the gray matter in your brain and ultimately grow it! It can also help refine learned and hardwired skills, as well as improve problem-solving and communication with others.

  2. They inspire and push tech boundaries

    The first video games were considered modern marvels, and we can’t say it’s changed much since. Who hasn’t seen some great graphics on a game, or been absolutely blown away the first time you slid on that VR headset? Many games push what’s possible for technology, and inspire generations.

  3. They increase happiness

    That rush you get when you conquer a level? Unmatched! Recent studies have shown that adults who play video games are less stressed and more relaxed than those who do not. It could be because video games offer a chance to remove yourself from everyday life stresses, or they might just be happier being more connected to their inner child!

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