If there’s one thing that’s bound to impress your fellow gamers, it’s displaying knowledge about their favorite pastime.
But appearing knowledgeable doesn’t have to involve poring over video game Wikipedia pages and longform online articles. Sometimes we can just drop bite-sized nuggets of golden gaming info into a conversation to make us look like a modern-day guru.
Here are six fascinating facts that will knock your friends’ socks off.
There are now more gamers than ever
Now, this fact alone may not impress you that much. It may seem obvious that more people are picking up a gaming controller after the start of the pandemic, but the numbers involved are still impressive.
Almost three billion people now actively play video games, which is remarkable considering that less than half of the planet has access to a computer. This contributes to a global industry worth around $160 billion, just short of the GDP of oil-rich Qatar.
Also, it’s worth remembering that these stats are just for video games, so stuff like online casino games are out of the equation. Gaming looks set to grow exponentially as technology improves, too, making it one of the world’s most successful industries.
ET on the Atari was so bad that its creators buried millions of copies in the desert
It may appear to be a subjective issue, but many gamers agree that Atari’s ET game from 1982 is the worst video game ever.
Perhaps it contributed to the company’s downfall: Atari suffered for years afterward, losing millions of dollars and going through several name changes along the way. But was the game really so bad that it deserved to be buried in a desert?
This is the fate that fell on hundreds of thousands of copies of the unpopular title. Basically, it was a warehouse dump from a struggling company that couldn’t afford to dispose of the unsold copies legally, so the desert turned out to be their final resting ground, until an excavation crew dug them up in 2014!
You may have an extremely rare copy of Tetris
Tetris is one of the best-selling video games of all time, selling tens of millions of copies during its heyday in the 80s and 90s.
If you’re one of the hordes of people who owned it and you still have it, check out which version you have. If it’s a Tengan copy, then it may be worth a bit of money seeing as there’s thought to only be around 100,000 of them in existence.
But the real gems are the game’s Sega copies. If you have one of those, then you’re the lucky holder of one of just ten copies said to exist.
Diablo is the longest-supported online game ever
Online games have been around for longer than many people think.
In the early 2000s, players used Battle.net to duke it out online and Diablo, an all-action hack and slash classic, was one of the most popular choices. Today’s best-loved MMOs, such as World of Warcraft, come directly from games like this.
You can still play the original version online now, making the game the longest lasting game of its kind. Just remember to keep track of the time as hours seems to fly by when playing this timeless beauty.
Nintendo ditching Sony led to the PlayStation
In one of gaming history’s great projects that never came to be, the Sony/Nintendo partnership to create a new console is perhaps the most high-profile one.
Up until that point, Sony had never made the transition from the music sector into the gaming scene and were looking for Nintendo’s help in making the leap. The new console would allow the users to play CDs as well as games as a result.
So, when Nintendo ditched the project, Sony looked like they were left high and dry. But they were anything but that.
Sony persevered with the project until they came up with a brand-new game system that became to be known as the original PlayStation, and then, the best-selling console of all time, the PS2.
Video games make decisions faster and with fewer errors
Gaming gets a lot of criticism for supposedly warping the minds of the young and encouraging anti-social behaviour. Several important voices, like Hillary Clinton, have gone on record to denounce the hobby, saying that excessive playing will lead to a dumber population and presumably a ruined society.
Well, that’s not really true. If anything, the opposite is correct. Scientists have found that rather than make us stupid, video games actually help us to make the correct decisions faster. This is because games help us to develop an acute sense of our surroundings and encourage us to multi-task as we play, skills we can translate into real life.
To be more specific, one study found that surgeons who class themselves as gamers make 37% fewer errors than their non-gaming colleagues.
So, stick that in your pipe and smoke it, gaming haters.