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National Video Games Day September 12


National Video Games Day is observed annually on September 12th.

Video game players across the United States enjoy this day with much enthusiasm.  From their very earliest days, video games have gone on to become an art form and industry.

There was, at one time, a United States National Video Game Team, founded on July 25, 1983, in Ottumwa, Iowa, by Walter Day and the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard. The early games used interactive electronic devices with various display formats. Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann filed the first patent for an interactive electronic device in 1947.  It was called the “Cathode ray tube amusement Device”.  

Some other early examples include:

  • The Nimrod computer at the 1951 Festival of Britain
  • 0X0 – a tic-tac-toe computer game by Alexander S. Douglas for the EDSAC in 1952.
  • Tennis For Two – 1958 – An electronic interactive game engineered by William Higinbotham.
  • 1961 – Spacewar

A different means of display was used for each game from a panel of lights to a graphical display to an oscilloscope or the DEC PDP-1′s vector display.

  • Computer Space, created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, in 1971, was the first commercially sold, coin-operated video game.
  • Magnavox Odyssey was the first home console in 1972.
  • Atari’s Pong followed with an arcade version in 1972 and a home version in  1975.
    “The commercial success of Pong led numerous other companies to develop Pong clones and their own systems, spawning the video game industry.”


Make sure you have plenty of snacks and your favorite games. Get your friends together for a marathon session! Friends, new games, retro games, munchies and beverages and you’re ready to go. Use #NationalVideoGamesDay to post on social media.


Our research was unable to find the creator of National Video Games Day.

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