It's National Video Games Day today, according to Twitter, and it's time to celebrate one of the world's most lucrative and popular pastimes. That is, of course, especially important if fans missed National Video Game Day, which is an entirely different "holiday" that takes place on July 8.
Yes, there are multiple National Video Games Days, and no one is 100 percent sure why. Twitter is pretty infamous for generating a number of fake holidays that really don't have much of a reason behind them beyond the fact that somebody really likes something - just take a look at such luminary holidays as World Beard Day, which takes place September 3, or International Podcast Day, which is coming up September 30. Still, video games are a pretty big deal, and they've been a part of some huge historical moments - so why can't people agree on when the holiday meant to celebrate them is?
The answer is pretty complicated, but ultimately, just like most fun things on social media, its origins are pretty unclear. Here is, to the best of Screen Rant's knowledge, an explanation of what they are and why there are multiple National Video Games Days - and why that doesn't actually mean fans get to leave work early to jump into some Gears 5 matchmaking today.
When Is National Video Games Day?
National Video Games Day takes place on September 12 of every year. National Video Game Day, on the other hand, takes place on July 8. Neither of those dates actually have much of a historical precedent behind them, nor any sort of reasonable explanation for why they take place when they do. A video game historian named Frank Cifaldi published an article on why National Video Games Day is July 8, and the results are fantastic: it's attributed to someone named David Earle, who was apparently the president of an organization called Kid Vid Warriors.
The problem? No one knows who David Earle is, Kid Vid Warriors has never existed (or at least isn't documented by anyone to have existed, outside of that one mention of Earle), even historians don't know why the date was chosen, and, in fact, there is also evidence that suggests the day is September 12, after all. That latter point is corroborated by one tiny anecdote from a book called The Teacher's Calendar School Year (2008-2009 edition, of course), which simply states that Video Games Day happens on September 12 and is a day for kids who "love video games."
In short, National Video Games Day is either one of the two days discussed above, or some other arbitrary day that was listed in a cookbook from 1997 that historians just haven't discovered yet.
What Is National Video Games Day?
Basically, just an excuse for people to celebrate their love of video games and for companies to use the #NationalVideoGamesDay trend to make some sweet announcements. Here's one from CD Projekt Red announcing a new platform for its popular digital card game Gwent:
We have a #NationalVideoGamesDay present for you — @PlayGwent is coming to iOS on October 29th! 📱— CD PROJEKT RED (@CDPROJEKTRED) September 12, 2019
Pre-order now (for free!) to get it on your device immediately after release! #GWENTiOS
Pre-order 🔗: https://t.co/IonQiGGnRu pic.twitter.com/ml7QTUZY3D
And here's one from Planet Zoo that's using the opportunity to hook someone up with a sweet edition of the upcoming game:
It's #NationalVideogamesDay! Thank you for all the support you have given Planet Zoo so far! We're celebrating by giving away a Deluxe Edition of Planet Zoo. RT and tell us what you're most looking forward to about the game for a chance to win! 🐯🦓🐺 pic.twitter.com/KeTJKhiIZz— Planet Zoo (@PlanetZooGame) September 12, 2019
Why There's So Many National Video Games Days
Ultimately, the reason gamers have so many National Video Games Days is because there isn't really a strong reason for the two dates that most people assume to be the correct ones, so there's not really anything stopping people from inventing a few more. As it stands now, things have mostly been pared down to just the two dates, but a quick search of previous hashtags that trended in past years also identified dates like September 18, which is suspiciously close to this one, and July 12, which is also very close to the other normally accepted date.
Some of the best video games are sequels, though, so why not just have two National Video Games Days each year and try to out-do each one every time?