National Video Games Day | September 12
(Last Updated On: November 8, 2022)


On September 12th, National Video Games Day celebrates all the ways we enjoy a good video game challenge.


Video game players across the United States enjoy this day with much enthusiasm. From their very earliest days, video games have been a blend of art form and industry. 

On July 25, 1983, Walter Day and the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard out of Ottumwa, Iowa founded the United States National Video Game Team. Their 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 Festival of Britain (1951)
  • 0X0 – a tic-tac-toe computer game by Alexander S. Douglas for the EDSAC (1952)
  • Tennis For Two – An electronic interactive game engineered by William Higinbotham (1958)
  • Spacewar (1961)

Each game used a different means of display. Some used a panel of lights or graphical display. Yet others featured an oscilloscope or the DEC PDP-1 vector display.

  • It became the first commercially sold coin-operated video game. 
  • Magnavox Odyssey launched 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.”


Let the video game challenges begin! Whether you invite friends to join you in the newest video game or go it alone, be sure you get a game in. You also need to make sure you have plenty of snacks. 

  • Arcade galleries are making a comeback. If there is one near you, give them a shout-out!
  • Introduce your favorite video game to your kids. Have them share their favorites with you.
  • Host a video game tournament.
  • Post your high scores.
  • Are you stuck on a tough level? Seek out tips and hacks to get you through.

Use #NationalVideoGamesDay to post on social media.


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

Q. Do video arcades still exist?
A. Yes, they do. Though they declined in the 1990s, it’s not game over for video arcades. Arcades across the United States have evolved through the years. Some are tucked into themed restaurants and bowling alleys. Others target the retro-loving crowd. And still, others spotlight the arcade with delicious food and beverage options available for a more adult crowd.

Q. Do people get paid to play video games?
A. Yes. First, there are the people hired to test and demonstrate video games. Then there are those who compete worldwide in tournaments for cash and prizes. Many gamers stream their games for profit – the more people who watch them play, the more opportunity for a payday. Some games pay players with coupons and other prizes.


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