National Video Game Day

A diverse group of people playing video games together, with a mix of retro and modern consoles, surrounded by colorful gaming paraphernalia..
National video game day illustration

Have you ever been so immersed in a video game, fighting epic battles or saving digital worlds, you wish there was a day dedicated solely to your pastime passion? Well, dust off your control pads, because National Video Game Day is here! As unexpected as finding a hidden level, it's a day that gives us roar-to-action permission to jockey joysticks and celebrate video games of all shapes and sizes. But where, you might ask, did it all begin? Let's hit the 'start' button and journey through the pixelated past of this engaging event!

When is Video Game Day?

It's national video game day on the 13th September.

The Origin of National Video Game Day

While the original creator of National Video Game Day remains as elusive as final boss, clues found on the internet denote Continental Congress had no hand in this one. Instead, it's believed to have started in the late 90s, from game enthusiasts, celebrating their beloved diversion. Marked annually, the date seems to shift as unpredictably as a rogue AI, but our trusty online data tracker has confirmed a surge of celebratory chatter around the 12th of September, more specifically, on 13th September 2018 with a whopping 28365 mentions!

Power-Ups on National Video Game Day

This day is more than just a high score chase, commemorating the evolution of video games, impacting generations, from pong-pioneering Atari to the virtual reality realms of today. Cheers to the developers, designers and, critically, the players, turning this niche hobby into a thriving global industry. Celebrations typically involve multiplayer gatherings, speed runs, charity streaming marathons and, naturally, lots of gaming. Reminiscing about games that defined childhoods is an emotion-packed side quest on this day.

Achievements Unlocked

Since the simple joys of 'Space War!' vacuum tubes, remember we're now in an age where esports warrants a consideration for the Olympics. The journey has just been bonus-level-worthy beautiful. So, whether you're a casual mobile gamer or a professional eSport player, join the leaderboards this National Video Game Day. And remember, no matter what the game, the best weapon is fun.

History behind the term 'Video Game'


The Origins of Interactive Electronic Games

The concept of video games can be traced back to 1941, when Dr. Thomas Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann created a device called the 'Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device.' This early invention was not a true video game, but it laid the foundation for the future. It used cathode ray tubes to display a simple game-like simulation, where players could target moving dots using a missile-like beam. Although it lacked interactivity, this device planted the seeds for the development of video games.


First Interactive Computer Game: OXO

In 1952, the first interactive computer game, 'OXO' (also known as 'Noughts and Crosses'), was developed by A.S. Douglas. This game, played on the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC), allowed users to play tic-tac-toe against the computer. While it wasn't a video game in the modern sense, it demonstrated the potential for creating interactive games on computers.


Spacewar!: The Birth of Video Games

The birth of video games as we know them today can be attributed to the creation of 'Spacewar!' in 1962. Developed by Steve Russell and his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Spacewar! was the first true video game. It was a two-player space combat game where players controlled spaceships and battled each other. This iconic game laid the foundation for many future video game developments.


The Rise of Commercial Video Games

In 1972, the video game industry took a significant leap forward with the release of 'Pong' by Atari. Designed by Nolan Bushnell and Allan Alcorn, Pong was the first commercially successful video game. It was a simple tennis-style game where players used paddle controllers to hit a ball back and forth. Pong revolutionized the gaming landscape, paving the way for countless video game consoles and arcades that followed.


The Term 'Video Game' Comes Into Use

The term 'video game' itself was coined in 1978 by the video game company Atari. Previously, electronic games were often referred to as 'electronic amusement devices' or simply 'games.' However, as the industry grew, the need for a specific term emerged. 'Video game' encompassed the visual aspect provided by cathode-ray tubes, televisions, or computer screens in gaming experiences. This term soon became universally recognized and continues to be used today.

Did you know?

The very first video game ever made wasn't Pong, but a game called 'Spacewar!' created in 1962 by computer scientists who clearly knew that space and explosions make for good entertainment.


fun celebration history video games

First identified

30th March 2015

Most mentioned on

13th September 2018

Total mentions


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