Get Nostalgic: Today Is National Video Game Day


It’s that time of the year again, the day you can hole up in your house and relive your childhood passion for video games without fear of being called a geek. In honor of this great holiday, we’ve talked to a few people about their favorite games. Do you remember Frogger?

1. Pong (1972)
In 1972, Allen Alcorn developed Pong for Atari. The game was originally released as an arcade unit, but after its incredible success, the company released a home version for the 1975 Christmas season and distributed it exclusively at Sears. Doug Hill, 60, was in college when Pong was first released, and over the phone, he told us about his experience when a Pong machine was installed at the student union of his college: “They put it in next to the pool table and the ping-pong table, and it was a quarter a game. A lot of kids spent a lot of time and money playing that game. Personally, I didn’t play that much, because as a student, I didn’t have that much disposable income, and if the choice was between beer and Pong, I was buying beer. The machine was pretty dinky too; it was a black and white TV with a square ball; it wasn’t even rounded. Instead of the joy-stick controllers that most games use now, we played by turning knobs to control the paddles.”

2. Frogger (1981)

This classic game needs no introduction. Runnin’ Scared’s own Jen Doll recalls, “the first time I played Frogger was a very cold night in Chicago. It was New Year’s Eve, and my brother and I were staying with my parents’ ‘church friends,’ who were going to the same party. Their kids introduced us to Frogger, and we played it all night long. The next day we demanded it for ourselves. The squish of the frogs was irresistible.”

3. The Legend of Zelda (1986-2011)

The first Zelda game was simply titled the Legend of Zelda. From this top-down debut, the series has grown to at least 15 releases, depending on how you count them. Michael Chiboucas, 20, recalls for us the first time he played Link’s Awakening for GameBoy Color: “I played Link’s Awakening back when most video games were still these massive, mysterious worlds that seemed impossible to fully explore. That’s what was so great about playing Zelda as a kid; the games are actually built around the unjaded sensibility of younger gamers who are willing to just sit there for hours and hours turning into days, looking in every room, and hitting everything they see with every weapon. I probably logged a total of a month or two of hours playing as Link (a character with the same age as me) in Links Awakening and other Zelda games. They were adventure games in the truest sense of the word: there aren’t many like it anymore.”

We also love(d):
Sim City
Crash Bandicoot
Spy Fox
Mortal Kombat
Tomb Raider
FInal Fantasy
Age of Empires
Golden Eye
Grand Theft Auto
Call of Duty