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KontrolFreek Blog

Take a Look Back with National Video Game Day

by Brittany Vincent 09 Jul 2021

You're in FreekNation, so you love video games. But did you know there's a special day every year specifically reserved for celebrating gaming in all its different forms? Yesterday was National Video Game Day (July 8), and we took a moment to thank our lucky stars that we can jump into battle royales with friends, compete in home run derbies online, and collect ‘em all in Pokemon. Gaming is our life, and why we’re chatting with you right now. But what’s this holiday all about? Glad you asked!

What is National Video Game Day?

It's a day to celebrate one of the biggest forms of media and art in the world today, and a reason to look back on how far that medium has come. Video games have been around since the 1970s, but as technology has changed and flourished over the years, so have our games.

From the simple machinations of Atari's tennis-based sport title Pong in 1972, to the virtual reality we can experience now thanks to the Oculus Quest 2 (without wires or additional equipment, even!), we look back and appreciate where we've come from and where we've yet to go.

It's an inspirational, incredible medium that anyone can participate in, and whether you choose to game on a console, PC, handheld device, or even your phone, there's something to satisfy everyone. Gaming has played a major role in the technology we live and work with, and it's time to look back and give the medium some props.

We celebrated by playing a few of our favorite games, and taking a walk down memory lane to recall our favorite games and the most important video game consoles ever produced.

Gaming's Greatest Consoles

There have been a wide variety of huge, monumental events in the gaming space over the years. In fact, it's difficult to count them all. It's such an expansive, diverse space that looking back on its entirety can blow your mind. We've come so far since Pong controllers and monochromatic graphics. Here are three of the industry’s most influential systems from different eras of gaming. These, of course, aren’t the best of all time, but they’ve all contributed to the industry in their own unique ways.

1. Nintendo Entertainment System

The iconic NES debuted in 1983, and it ushered in a powerful and important new age of console gaming. It offered some crazy processing power when it debuted, including detailed and high-resolution sprites, bright colors, and some of the most influential games of all time: Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and The Legend of Zelda, anyone?

2. Game Boy

Handheld gaming was a relative novelty before the Game Boy's debut in 1989. Ahead of that, we had the Game and Watch titles, but that left much to be desired. The Game Boy brought true portability to gaming with a comfortable form factor, lengthy battery life, and a massive range of accessories to make your experience with it even better -- magnifiers, lights, additional battery packs, and more. Meanwhile, games like Pokemon Red and Blue, Tetris, and Super Mario Land made it an experience that you couldn't miss, cementing it as one of the most influential systems the industry had seen thus far.

3. PlayStation 2

It may not have debuted until 2000, but the PlayStation 2's influence on modern gaming cannot be understated. It was one of the most important tentpoles of the game industry in the early 2000s, introducing some of the greatest franchises and sequels that continue today. With its ability to render up to 75 million polygons a second, it proved a graphical beast, with smooth performance, realistic movements, and clear audio quality. Games like Kingdom Hearts, Ratchet and Clank, Grand Theft Auto, and so many more came to the PlayStation 2, and the library is still one that has few rivals.

Now it’s time to get back to playing your favorite console or game. Can’t choose? Here are a few of top picks from the KontrolFreek team:

"Halo 3 is my favorite game of all time because it had an epic campaign mode with graphics that were ahead of its time and was also the first game I ever played online with my friends." Ryan – Marketplaces

“Witcher 3 is my favorite because few games have immersed me so completely in a war-torn, yet beautifully dense world that begs to be explored.” Joe - Customer Service

"Breath of the Wild is a one-of-a-kind experience in gaming, in that it encourages creativity when problem-solving and doesn't hold the player's hand when exploring the open world." Nate - Graphic Design

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