National Video Games Day | September 12

National Video Games Day



September 12 is set aside to celebrate video games, an essential aspect of pop culture.

Whether you only play simple mobile phone games when bored or immerse yourself in hardcore adventures, this unofficial holiday is for you.

Video games are more than a simple hobby. They bring people together from all age groups and walks of life for the love of beautiful graphics and great storytelling.

Celebrating National Video Games Day reminds us of how much video games influence the world around us.

If you’re looking for fun ways to commemorate this National Video Games Day or looking to understand its history, keep reading.

History of National Video Games Day

An old device for playing the video game Tennis for Two

The earliest documented video game holiday was in Chase’s Calendar of Events, an ongoing publication that’s been listing special holidays and events since 1957.

This first holiday was called Video Games Day, and it was actually first celebrated on July 8, 1991.

However, by 1997, the publication had changed the holiday’s name to National Video Games Day and the date to September 12. But both dates are recognized by dedicated video gamers today.

The origin of video games is far more straightforward, dating back roughly 65 years ago. Physicist William Higinbotham created Tennis for Two, the world’s first video game, in October 1958.

Far from having all the bells and whistles of modern games, this simple tennis game featured a glowing ball that darted from one end of the screen to the other.

Players could also change the ball angle using the knob on the gamepad.

By 1972, Magnavox Odyssey, the first home gaming console, was released. The crowd loved it, and it sold over 300,000 units.

How to celebrate National Video Games Day

Two people playing a Soccer Video game on the Playstation 4

Play video games.

Perhaps this is a little on the nose, but one of the best ways to celebrate National Video Games Day is to immerse yourself in video games. Double the fun by inviting friends over to play!

You can host an online gaming tournament in multi-player mode if you can’t invite people over.

This revives the gaming spirit, especially if you haven’t been playing regularly for some time. Consider streaming clips of your gaming session, too.

Take a trip through memory lane.

Remember those decades-old game consoles you locked away in the attic or storage? Now you have an excellent reason to get them out, so dust off that old Atari and get playing.

Start the day by strolling down memory lane. If you have company around, going over old games together and playing them as well can stir up fun conversations.

Take things further by heading to an arcade for classical games from the 80s and 90s, like pong, Mortal Kombat, Pac-Man, and Space Invaders. You’ll get to play some of your favorites and even try some new games as well.

Get some new games.

Are you looking to buy any new games that have caught your attention lately? Well, now you can justify splurging on them on National Video Games Day!

Some of your favorite gaming companies offer shoppers exclusive discounts, upgrades, and bonuses during this holiday.

There may also be new releases, announcements, or free download offers specifically for this day.

National Video Games Day FAQ

Someone holding a mobile phone in their hands playing a video game

So, wait, is National Video Games Day celebrated on September 12 or July 8?

While they were initially the same holiday, September 12 is National Video Games Day, while July 8 is Video Game Day.

Why celebrate National Video Games Day?

Video games have been around for over 65 years, making them an iconic part of pop culture. Celebrating National Video Games Day allows us to appreciate how much they’ve evolved through the years.

How else can I celebrate National Video Games Day?

If you’re not in the mood for gaming or don’t have a computer or console worthy of playing something you want, how about watching a streamer?

Head on over to a platform like Twitch, where you can watch gamers playing pretty much every game that’s ever existed!

5 Fast Facts About Video Games

a "Push Start" message, for beginning a video game

Approximately 3 million people worldwide play video games, with all ages enjoying this wonderful pastime.

Game Boy was the first game console played in space. Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr A. Serebrov packed one for his space trip in 1993.

The Oregon Trail, developed in 1971, is the longest-running video game series. It’s been running for 52 years.

Nintendo has recorded impressive success with its products, making nearly half of the top 50 video games.

Antonio Monteiro from Richmond, Texas, has the world’s most extensive video game library. He started building his collection of over 20,000 video games when he was just 12 years old.


If there was ever a holiday worth celebrating, it’s National Video Game Day. And yes, we are totally biased!

Gamers get exclusive discounts, and some of your favorite gaming companies make special announcements or offers.

But if you don’t want to get something new for National Video Games Day, you can spend the day playing some of your old games alone or with friends.

So? What are you waiting for? Go play some games!

About The Author

Jennifer Anyabuine
Jennifer Anyabuine

Jennifer Anyabuine is a med student and freelance writer. She writes on diverse topics, including health, wellness, and lifestyle. When she’s not studying or writing, she spends quality time with her family and two dogs.

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