Video games are massive. They’re probably one of the most popular kinds of entertainment in the entire world on any given day, and there’s no sign of this slowing down anytime soon. Whether you’ve been gaming for years or you’re thinking about picking up your first console ever, or maybe even if you’re just a casual PC fan, there are bound to be many things you didn’t know about video games.
Here are some interesting facts about video games:
1. The First Video Game Ever
The first video game was called “Tennis for Two.” It was created by William Higinbotham in 1958 at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. The game used an oscilloscope to display the graphics on a screen, and two players play against each other using separate controllers. 
2. The First Arcade Game
The first arcade game with multiple screens and sound effects was Computer Space (1971). The game was designed by Nolan Bushnell, who later founded Atari, Inc., one of the most successful gaming companies ever created.
3. World’s First Home Console
With the release of the Magnavox Odyssey gaming console in 1972, home video games became more than a hobby. The Odyssey was packaged with board game paraphernalia such as cards, paper money, and dice to enhance the games.
4. Video Games Are Big Business
In fact, video games are bigger than Hollywood and the music industry combined. The revenue generated by video game sales was $180 billion in 2021. In addition to the money spent on buying games, there is also money spent on subscriptions to online services such as PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold that allow players to access online multiplayer modes. 
5. Most Popular Genres Are First-Person Shooters and Open World Games
More than 50% of all games sold in 2018 were first-person shooters or open-world games (games where you can explore an entire environment). These two genres have been popular since the early days of gaming when Pong was released in 1972 and Space Invaders came out six years later.
6. Many Video Games Are Based On Movies or Books
In some cases, movies are based on video games; however, more often than not, it’s the other way around — books or comics are adapted into video games instead of being adapted into movies first.
7. A Secret within Left 4 Dead 2
In 2009, a game called Left 4 Dead 2 included a hidden room with a zombie tied to a chair wearing pink bunny ears and a sign that read “Zombie Rights Activist.” It was later removed from the game after complaints from PETA, who claimed it promoted violence against animals (video game zombies aren’t technically animals).
8. The Number of Online Multiplayer Games Is Massive
There are now more than 1 billion players across the world who play online multiplayer games every day! This has led to some amazing records being set over time, including the most people playing at once (with over 600 million players taking part in one match), as well as the fastest game being completed (Agario took only 18 minutes). 
9. The First Handheld Game System
The first handheld game system was called Game Boy and was released by Nintendo in 1989. It featured a monochromatic display and had four buttons for playing Tetris-like puzzles. Today’s handheld devices have color screens and many more buttons for playing more complex games like Grand Theft Auto V or Angry Birds, Rio!
10. The Average Age of a Gamer
Entertainment Software Association found that the average age of a video gamer is 33 years old, with 46 percent of all gamers being female. One in five people who play video games are older than 50 years old (up from 17 percent in 2010).  
11. Games Offer Players Various Types of Experiences
You might not know it, but video games have evolved to offer players a variety of experiences. Video games come in a wide variety of genres, including role-playing and strategy. People can even learn about Java and C++ by playing programming games. And the best thing is children seem to enjoy educational games that teach them about things like reading, science, and math. 
12. South Korean gamers did not know about Mario Until 2004
South Korea banned the import of Japanese cultural products in the 1940s, and it was not until 2004 that this restriction was lifted. Nintendo’s product was distributed by Hyundai Electronics. Hyundai came up with a new name for the NES in South Korea: the Hyundai Comboy. The Comboy 64 followed shortly after. 
13. The Story of Sony’s and Nintendo’s Collaboration
When Sony was developing the technology for its PlayStation game console, it entered into a development partnership with Nintendo. But the deal fell apart before Sony was able to launch the console, forcing it to continue developing the technology and launch its own system. The original PlayStation is now known all over the world. 
14. Video Games Were First Used in the Military during World War II
During World War II, the United States military used early computer technology to create training simulations for its soldiers. For example, they created a game called “Barrage,” which simulated tank warfare on an enormous scale. A team of three people could play against each other using mechanical controls and dials to represent their tanks’ movement and firing capabilities.
15. First Blockbuster Arcade Game
Space Invaders was the first blockbuster arcade game, selling 100,000 units worldwide within six months of its release in 1978 – it remains one of the highest-grossing arcade games ever produced, with an estimated total revenue exceeding 2 billion dollars.
16. A Game That Ignited the flame of Entrepreneurship
Pong became so popular that it led to a huge boom in video game development. Many manufacturers spring up all over America, producing their own versions of this new type of entertainment device. Many of these companies went bankrupt within just a couple of years due to poor quality control and high competition from other firms making similar products.
17. Pac-Man is References in Many Other Video Games, Movies, Music, and TV Shows
Pac-Man is one of the most iconic video games of all time. It was created by Toru Iwatani and released by Namco in 1980. It was referenced in:
- The Simpsons – In the episode “Homer’s Odyssey,” Homer says he wants to be like Pac-Man when he grows up, which results in him becoming a police officer.
- The Office (U.S.) – In the episode “PDA,” Michael Scott says that he wants to be like Mickey Mouse but with less money and more personal issues like Pac-Man.
- South Park – In the episode “Fat Butt and Pancake Head,” Eric Cartman says that he wants to be like Pac-Man when he grows up, which results in him becoming a police officer who eats donuts instead of dots because they are cheaper than pellets.
18. Most Expensive Video Game to Make
Grand Theft Auto 5 (2013) cost $265 million to make and market — more than twice the budget of Avatar, which held the previous record for the most expensive film at $237 million. The game’s protagonist is a retired bank robber who returns to his old ways to pay off his debt to a Mexican drug cartel. 
19. The First Major Video Game Console War
The first major video game console war was fought between Nintendo and Sega in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Sega released its Genesis console in 1989, which had better graphics and sound than Nintendo’s NES console. Nintendo retaliated with its Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), which featured 16-bit graphics and more colors than Sega’s system.
The race for dominance between these two companies helped fuel the popularity of 16-bit consoles throughout the 1990s, which were eventually replaced by 32-bit consoles like Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s original Xbox in the 2000s.
20. Playing Games has a Connection with Making Correct Decisions
Research has shown that video games may positively affect a person’s performance in the real world. They are better at multitasking and making quick decisions than non-gamers. 
21. First Playable Female Character
In 1982, Princess Toadstool was introduced as a playable character in Super Mario Bros., marking the first time a female character had appeared in an action video game. She was the first female character to appear in an action video game (Princess Toadstool) that was introduced by Nintendo in 1981 in its arcade game “Donkey Kong,” where she was referred to as “Lady.”
However, she did not appear again until 1985, when she starred alongside Mario and Luigi in “Super Mario Bros.” as Peach Toadstool.
Video games have been around for many years, and hopefully, the list of facts we have provided was fun and informative. The industry is still growing, and we can see the impact technology will continue to have on it. Video games are still a big money earner, and they will be for years to come.