Insert Quarter: Who Came Up With National Video Games Day?

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Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Yesterday was “National Video Games Day,” a holiday that’s designed to honors those special video game memories we all have. But I can’t figure out why the organizers of National Video Games Day chose September 12. It doesn’t celebrate the launch of Pong (that’s November 29)… It’s not Ralph Baer’s birthday (that’s March 8)… It’s not even the anniversary of “Mortal Monday” (believe it or not, that’s today, September 13).

So where did National Video Games Day come from? Frank Cifaldi, of The Video Game History Foundation, tried to get to the bottom of it, and his search lead him to stacks of old newspapers, as well as multiple reference books devoted to holidays. But in the end, he succeeded:

As it turns out, there are multiple websites dedicated specifically to explaining the history behind days like this. Unfortunately, none of them had any real answers for National Video Game Day. Not one of these sites could explain the history of the day. One of them gave up mid-paragraph and tried to sell me popcorn instead.

National Video Games Day is so poorly documented that the internet can’t even agree on the date: some sources say July 8th, others say September 12th.

You can read all about Cifaldi’s search at The Video Game History Foundation.

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John Scalzo is Warp Zoned’s Editor-In-Chief and resident retro gaming expert. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at
john AT warpzoned DOT com.


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