Fun facts about video games

Easter Eggs IRL: 20 Video Game Facts All Gamers Should Know

Ever wondered what was the first video game or why Pac-Man looks like a pizza with a slice missing? Well, you're in for a treat. We're diving into the pixelated world of gaming to bring you interesting facts about video games that'll make you the life of any LAN party. From the origins of Mario to the psychology of Tetris, these fun video game facts will level up your trivia game.

1. The First Video Game Was "Tennis for Two," Not Pong

Ah, Pong, the game everyone thinks started it all. But no, it was actually "Tennis for Two," developed in 1958 by physicist William Higinbotham. Displayed on an oscilloscope screen, this game was the star of the Brookhaven National Laboratory open house. So, Pong can pong off.

2. Mario Was Originally a Carpenter, Not a Plumber

Before Mario was dodging sewer creatures, he was dodging barrels thrown by a giant ape. In "Donkey Kong," Mario was a carpenter, not a plumber. The switch to plumbing was probably a career upgrade, considering he went from fighting apes to rescuing princesses.

3. Pac-Man's Design Was Inspired by a Pizza Missing a Slice

The iconic shape of Pac-Man wasn't some genius design—it was inspired by a pizza with a slice missing. Creator Toru Iwatani was literally eating dinner when the idea struck him. The game was initially called "Puck-Man," but they changed it because, well, vandalism is a thing.

4. E.T. the Video Game Was So Bad, Unsold Copies Were Buried in a Landfill

The E.T. video game was so horrendous that it led to thousands of unsold cartridges being buried in a New Mexico landfill. The game was rushed to market in just five weeks to coincide with the movie's release. Spoiler: it didn't go well.

5. The Konami Code Has Appeared in Over 100 Games

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start. This isn't some secret society code; it's the Konami Code. This sequence of button presses has appeared in over 100 games and is the cheat code equivalent of "Open Sesame."

6. Mortal Kombat Led to the Creation of the ESRB

Mortal Kombat was the bad boy of video games, sparking so much controversy that it led to the creation of the ESRB. The game featured digitized actors and the infamous "Fatality" moves. Ah, nothing says childhood like pixelated gore.

7. The World Health Organization Recognizes Gaming Addiction as a Disorder

Gaming addiction is now officially a "thing," according to the World Health Organization. Symptoms include impaired control over gaming, prioritizing gaming over other life interests, and continuing to game despite negative consequences. It's like the hangover that never ends.

8. The Longest Gaming Session Led to a Man's Death

A Taiwanese man decided to play "World of Warcraft" for 24 hours straight and ended up dead. The cause? A blood clot from sitting too long. Remember kids, even gaming should come with a "stand up and stretch" warning.

9. Action Video Games Can Improve Your Vision

Contrary to your mom's warnings, video games won't make you go blind. In fact, action games can improve your vision. Studies have shown that these games can enhance spatial resolution, making gamers better at distinguishing between different shades of color. Take that, Mom!

10. "Grand Theft Auto V" Is the Most Expensive Game Ever Made

With a budget of $265 million, "Grand Theft Auto V" is the Hollywood blockbuster of the gaming world. And just like a blockbuster, it raked in over $1 billion in just three days. Crime does pay, at least in the virtual world.

11. Nearly Half of All Gamers Are Female

Contrary to the basement-dwelling male stereotype, nearly half of all gamers are female. Women are not only avid gamers but are also making their mark in game development and eSports. So, the next time someone says gaming is a "guy thing," you can tell them to level up their knowledge.

12. A Game Boy Survived a Bombing During the Gulf War

Nintendo's Game Boy is the Chuck Norris of gaming consoles. One unit survived a bombing during the Gulf War and still functions to this day. It's currently on display at the Nintendo World Store in New York, probably flexing its muscles.

13. The Name Atari Means "Success" in the Game Go

Atari wasn't just a cool-sounding name; it means "success" in the game Go. The company was a pioneer in the arcade and home console market, but let's face it, they've seen better days.

14. Nintendo Initially Sold Playing Cards

Before they were making you curse at your friends in Mario Kart, Nintendo was in the playing card business. Founded in 1889, they sold handmade playing cards for a game called Hanafuda. Talk about a glow-up.

Video game creatures

15. The "Madden Curse" Affects Players Featured on the Cover

The "Madden Curse" is the gaming world's version of the Sports Illustrated jinx. Players featured on the cover of Madden NFL games often suffer injuries or a decline in performance. It's like the universe's way of saying, "Don't get too cocky."

16. "Final Fantasy" Was Named for Its Creator's Last-Ditch Effort

The name "Final Fantasy" sounds like a grand finale, but it was actually named because it was Square Enix founder Hironobu Sakaguchi's last-ditch effort to save his failing company. If the game flopped, he planned to quit the industry. Spoiler: it didn't flop.

17. "Minecraft" Is the Best-Selling Video Game of All Time

With over 200 million copies sold, "Minecraft" takes the crown as the best-selling video game ever. It's the digital Lego of our generation, and it's probably responsible for more procrastination than any other game.

18. "The Legend of Zelda" Was Inspired by Its Creator's Childhood

Shigeru Miyamoto, the genius behind "The Legend of Zelda," drew inspiration from his childhood experiences of exploring caves and fields. The game was a way to recreate that sense of adventure and discovery. Who knew getting lost as a kid could be so profitable?

19. "Doom" Was So Popular It Was Installed on More Computers Than Windows 95

When "Doom" was released, it became so popular that it was installed on more computers than Windows 95. Bill Gates even considered buying the company that made it. Now that's what you call game domination.

20. "World of Warcraft" Has Its Own Language Course

If you've ever wanted to speak Orcish, "World of Warcraft" has you covered. The game offers a language course for its fictional languages. Because why learn Spanish when you can learn to communicate with virtual orcs?

From the first video game to the psychology of Tetris, we've covered the bases. If you're still hungry for more oddities, check out our post on moon facts or ancient civilization fun facts. Ready to hit "Continue" (video game joke:-)?

About the author(s):

Christman & Raelina

Christman and Raelina are both professional designers, writers and have been working with educational content for nigh on 30 years (between the two).

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