Video Game Facts
Gamers are masters of worlds other than their own. These video game facts will prove the significance of gaming culture one fact at a time.
- A video game is an electronic game that uses interaction with an interface (controller) to generate visual feedback (display).
- There are about 1,181,019 existing video games as of 2019.
- E-sports is the professional competition for video games.
- 960 gaming consoles have been released since the first generation home video game consoles.
- 11 gaming consoles were canceled before release.
- “Platform” is an umbrella term for the electronic systems used to play video games.
- China earns $27.54 billion in revenues from the gaming industry.
- Consoles are specific devices designed for games.
- Home video game consoles are fixed consoles that connect to a TV or other display.
- Handheld consoles are portable: it combines controls and display in one device.
- Hybrid consoles can be connected to a display like a traditional console, but can also be used as a handheld.
- A side scroller is a video game perspective with a side-view camera angle. Characters in side scrollers can generally only move to the left or right, hence the “scrolling” motion.
- Top-down games utilize a bird’s eye view.
- Sandbox games or open-world games allow players to roam an “open” world. (Think Grand Theft Auto or Minecraft).
- Nintendo has the most best-selling games of all time.
- The Vectrex Gaming Console (1984) was the first gaming console with touch control.
- Nintendo’s Mario is the best-selling video game franchise of all time with over US$676 million in worldwide sales.
- The Nintendo Wii (2006) was the first motion-controlled console.
- The Microsoft Xbox (2001) was the first console with full support for HDTV.
- The Sega Dreamcast (1999) was the first online gaming console.
Video Game Facts Infographics
The Gameboy was the first video game console played in space.
In 1993, Tetris was brought aboard a Soyuz TM-17 rocket to the MIR Space Station, where the Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr A. Serebrov played it. The game cartridge was later sold at an auction for $1,220. Who knows what’s happened to it since, but you can grab the renewed version here.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is the longest-running game ever.
The Monster Hunter franchise is notorious for its dedication to realism – (Seriously, no pause menu?!) – and with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, you’ll definitely feel like a hunter yourself with the time it takes to finish this game. You can try a hand at it if you’d like, but MH3 Ultimate takes a whopping average of 693 hours to finish: and that’s just an average!
Minecraft is the best-selling video game so far.
Markus Alexej Persson, more famously known as Notch, created the most successful indie game in Minecraft. With over US$180 million in sales, Minecraft was bought by Microsoft. However, it remains to be one of the most played games across all platforms, even beating the iconic Tetris’ sales by a close US$10 million.
Super Mario Land is darker than you thought.
Remember all those squares you need to hop on while playing the OG Mario? Well, those are actually the people of the Mushroom Kingdom turned into blocks by the Koopas.
The world record for blowing into cartridges is 43 cartridges in 20 seconds.
Kamal Gray from The Roots set a world record on Jimmy Fallon after blowing into 43 video game cartridges in 20 seconds. Think your childhood self could beat him?
The biggest video game collection has a library of over 20,000 games.
Antonio Monteiro of Texas holds the Guinness World Record for the largest video game collection at 20,139 video games. The collection features games from the 2nd to 8th generation consoles and over 100 devices to play them on. One of the most hardcore video game facts: It took Guinness 8 days to finish counting them all!
The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling gaming console of all time.
Although relatively old in the console game, the PS2 has outsold every other console in existence up to this point. As of the last record in 2012, sales have reached US$155 million.
One of the earliest video games was created by a physicist.
In October 1958, William Higinbotham created Tennis for Two. Its gameplay was similar to Pong, and was displayed on an oscilloscope instead of the traditional LED screen.
The longest video game session lasted 138 hours and 34 seconds.
Carrie Swidecki of the U.S. played Just Dance 2015 from July 11-17, 2015 at Otto’s Video Games and More in Bakersfield, California. This is the longest anyone’s played a game nonstop. Swidecki achieved this record by attempting to break her previous Guinness World Record for charity. (We’ll just leave this here, if you feel like beating a world record anytime soon.)
A gamer completed Dark Souls using a Rock Band guitar.
Another game notorious for its gameplay, only a few souls (nudge, nudge) brave this action RPG. However, Benjamin “Bearzly” Gwin took bravery to the next level: He beat the game with nothing but a Rock Band guitar. It doesn’t end there – he’s also done runs with the Rock Band drum kit, Rock Band piano, Donkey Kong bongo drum, microphone (voice control only), Wiimote, dance mat, steering wheel, and an Xbox 360 pad. He programmed these alternative controls himself, too. Wow. Wanna try it for yourself? You’re just a guitar controller away.
The first E sports tournament was held in the ‘70s.
On October 19, 1972, the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence at Stanford University organized the world’s first eSports tournament: the Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics. However, no prize money was involved yet – the winner would only receive a subscription to Rolling Stones.
Stewart Brand, a biology student, was the first one to win the Spacewar Olympics, and became the first E Sports champion.
The youngest professional gamer was 11 years old.
Victor De Leon III, more widely known as Lil Poison, was 11 years old when he signed an exclusive deal with Major League Gaming.
Pokemon Red and Green were the best-selling GameBoy games.
The earliest RPG on a console was released in 1982.
Dragonstomper for the Atari 2600 was one of the first-ever RPG’s. Although it didn’t really get much acclaim, critics applauded it for its detail, depth, and ingenuity. Relive your childhood with the recently retroed 2600s.
Grand Theft Auto was supposed to be a racing game.
GTA was supposed to be a much tamer Race’n’Chase, but during a test run, a glitch made the police cars attack the player. The glitch was so well-received by testers that the developers had to scrap the original concept and rebuild the game around high-speed police chases.
Minecraft's overworld has a surface area 9,258,235 times larger than the earth.
Minecraft is a game geared towards creatives and survivalists alike. For a game with infinite possibilities, it’s only fitting that the game seems to outdo our own planet. For the PC version, the Minecraft world is over 9 million times bigger than the Earth.
People who play video games are more likely to be lucid dreamers than those who don't.
Since video games engage our consciousness and motor skills, it only makes sense that these stimuli affect sleep patterns as well – even to the point of gamers being more likely to control their own dreams.
Studies have shown that playing Tetris can curb sex, drug, and food cravings.
Maybe it’s because the physical and visual representation of “fixing” things to fit just right gives us the illusion of having our sh*t together, or maybe it’s something else. Nonetheless, it’s proven that Tetris helps lessen impulsive behavior. Carnal desires, no more.
The fog in Silent Hill wasn’t entirely a design choice.
At first, it was actually sort of a compromise. The original Silent Hill video game had fog covering the town because of hardware limitations. Whether it’s clever or a cop-out, the ambient fog in the early Silent Hill’s surroundings was actually for lesser rendering. Nevertheless, the fog quickly became a trademark to the eerie atmosphere of Silent Hill. Too spooked to play the game? Try reading it.
A man reached level 90 in World of Warcraft without leaving the starting zone, ever.
The player Doubleagent spent 173.5 days mining and picking herbs for XP. Technically, he was stuck in the Wandering Isles for life – he couldn’t even play PvP since you’d need to have a faction for that.
There is a hiding spot in Pac-Man where you can be safe.
Once you find this location, you can sit safely for as long as you want. See for yourself with this plug n’ play console.
Pac-Man was supposed to be called Puckman.
Pac-Man was supposed to be called “Puckman” his resemblance to a hockey puck. However, game devs were concerned that vandals could deface that name in a particularly scandalous way. As such, Puckman was changed to Pac-Man.
Billy Mitchell was the first person to perfect “Pac-Man” in 1999.
Before he finished the game, Pac-Man creators and designers weren’t even sure what would happen since the game was designed to run infinitely. Because of this, the game devs and designers branded Mitchell as the video game player of the century.
The first console to have games available in cartridges was the Fairchild Channel F console, introduced in August 1976.
The Fairchild Channel F (which was short for “Channel Fun”) was the first ROM cartridge–based video game console, and the first console to use a microprocessor.
The longest-developed game was Duke Nukem Forever at 14 years.
Duke Nukem Forever began development in 1997, but due to hiccups and conflicts, the game wasn’t released until 2011. Did it live up to the hype?
Mario porn exists…
… but fortunately (or unfortunately for some of you), Nintendo already bought its rights so it can never be distributed again.
The first successful 3D game was Battlezone.
Released by Atari in 1981, Battlezone was the first successful 3D game. The arcade game received an honorable mention at the Third Annual Arkie Awards in 1982 for “Best Commercial Arcade Game”. It followed Pac-Man as the 2nd best arcade game of its time. Get two classics with this Atari bundle.
A video game was used by the U.S. Military to train tank gunners.
Aside from being the first commercially-successful 3D game, Battlezone was also used by the U.S. Army to train their tank gunners. What a feat!
Engineer Ralph Baer is often seen as the "father of video games."
The Magnavox Odyssey (also known as the Brown Box) was the first commercial video game console.
A Japanese man married a video game character in 2009.
This guy took cuffing season to a whole other level: Sal 9000 lived the gamer’s dream when he “married” Nene Anegasaki over livestream.
Americans once spent US$20 billion on arcades in one year.
The American obsession with arcade games peaked in 1981. Time magazine reported that in the year alone, Americans spent 20 billion dollars’ worth of quarters on arcade games – which was twice the income of every casino in Nevada combined.
The earliest “video” game was a shooting game.
The first “Cathode ray tube Amusement Device” was created in 1947 by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann. With a radar display technology, it consisted of an analog device that allowed a user to control a vector-drawn dot on the screen to simulate a missile being fired at targets.
The Wii’s motion sensor technology was rejected by Sony and Microsoft.
Gyration Inc was behind the iconic motion sensor of the Wii. However, it was rejected twice by two different gaming giants before it got its big break in the Wii.
The Nintendo Switch is the only commercial hybrid console to date.
Technology has come a long way since the light bulb, and so has gaming consoles. The Nintendo Switch is the only commercially successful hybrid console since its release in 2017 until now.
When the arcade game Space Invaders was released in Japan, it caused a shortage of 100 yen coins.
Space Invaders was so popular in Japan that in 1978, it caused a temporary shortage of 100 yen coins – the standard coin used for a Japanese arcade.
The shrooms in Mario are based on - well - shrooms.
The mushrooms in Mario games are based on the real-life psychedelic mushroom amanita muscaria. Once ingested, this mushroom will really make people feel larger, which is alluded to in the game as well. These mushrooms possess psychoactive compounds ibotenic acid and muscimol, which explains the “trip.”
The largest arcade machine ever built is over 14 feet high and 6 feet wide.
Jason Camberis of the U.S. secured a Guinness World Record for the largest arcade machine with his Arcade-Deluxe cabinet. His machine could play a variety of arcade games including the most iconic arcade game, Pac-Man. The record was verified in Bensenville, Illinois on March 23rd, 2014.
The video game economy suffered a great depression of its own.
The video game crash of 1983 (also known as the Atari shock in Japan) was a large-scale, two-year crash of the video game industry. Too many consoles were springing up at the same time, which saturated the market. The rise of personal computers also caused a shift to buying PC’s than consoles. Overall, the gaming market suffered an almost 97% drop. However, 1985 saw the start of the second generation video game consoles, which revived the video game market.
Sonic the Hedgehog was almost an armadillo.
The original concept for Sonic was simply to serve as a foil for Sega’s then-biggest competitor, Nintendo, and their plumber poster-boy. However, before settling on the iconic hedgehog, Sega experimented with other species, including the armadillo, porcupine, dog, and an “old guy with a mustache,” which, y’know… All kind of made the franchise still, but only as secondary characters or antagonists. (Lookin’ at you, Eggman.)
Star Fox is pretty dark, too.
Notice how the Star Fox fleet has matching boots? Those are actually prosthetics fixed to them after having their legs cut off. This snuff theory was first explained as a measure for zero-gravity resistance, but Nintendo was quick to refute the claim. The Star Fox crew, in fact, cut their legs off for optimal running speeds… cause that’s so much better.