Game On: 5 Japanese Gaming Facts That Might (Or Might Not) Surprise You!

Since the 80’s and 90’s video games have become a grand staple in the lives of the people who’ve spent time playing them; kids, enthusiasts, and geeks! Many of the major players that gamers are familiar with are Nintendo, SEGA, Capcom, Midway, Playstation, Xbox, and so many more. Video game consumption in America is at an all-time high (if it isn’t already), and a lot of your favorite brands don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. The gaming industry is always changing in some way, shape or form every day. For Japanese gamers the video game hype is a little bit different. From secret cheat codes to hidden facts about franchise gaming characters these something to be said about this whimsical world filled with joysticks and buttons. Here are five Japanese gaming facts that might (or might not) surprise you!

Game Fact #5: Atari Was Originally Going To Be Called “Syzygy”!

Many of us know Atari from back in the 80’s with arcade games like Frogger, but Atari was not the first choice for the name of this gaming brand. Founders Nolan Bushwell and Ted Dabney were actually going to name their brand (you guessed it) Syzygy, which meant “the straight line configuration of three celestial bodies”. The bad news for this choice however, was the fact that the name was already taken by a roofing company – which was actually the best thing that ever happened to them. Can you imagine playing a game branded by a roofing company? O.O

Game Fact #4: SEGA Was (Originally) Created By Three Americans!

Betcha didn’t know that, did’cha?! Or maybe you did; rendering our reaction to your surprise about this revelation ‘moot’. Before a certain blue hedgehog became the face of the company, SEGA’s original mission was to import game machines to the American servicemen living in Japan – because of their boredom. Those gaming machines are still hugely successful to this very day in Japan, and thanks to two Japanese lads, SEGA (along with the aforementioned blue hedgehog) has become a household name.

Game Fact #3: The First Video Game Death Was in 1981!

Normally we don’t like talking about death a lot on the blog (unless it’s a character that fans think deserve it), but in 1981 a gamer by the name of Jeff Dailey died while playing Berzerk. Games are cool, but if you treat the time you spend playing them the same way you treat alcohol (without moderation), the ending won’t be a happy one. Marathon gaming without stopping for food or water is never a good idea, so to all the gamers out there, take a break at least 1-2 hours after playing. Cool? 😉

Game Fact #2: The Release of the N64 Caused Riots in Japan!

When the era of the SNES had ended, Nintendo decided it was time to enter the 3D world of gaming with what they called the Nintendo 64. There are hundreds of well-known titles fans have played since that era, but during its initial Japan release, it caused riots among Japanese fans trying to get their hands on it. Yes America, Japan has Black Friday too! XP

Game Fact #1: Mario Was Named After Mario Segali, Nintendo America’s Italian Landlord!

How about that? The plumber from Brooklyn is named after someone who is actually from Italy (originally)! Before that Mario didn’t really have a name, in fact the first time we ever saw him was Donkey Kong – which was originally called Jumpman. Since then Mario has appeared in over 100 games and has continued to stand the test of time even to this very day. That’s three facts in one about the well-known plumber. You’re welcome. 😉

There are more amazing and fascinating facts about Japanese gaming that many gamers know, and some don’t. Nevertheless there’s always something new and exciting going on in the world of gaming, as well as in the community. What new facts will be revealed in the next 5-10 years that we don’t already know? What throwback gaming consoles will make a resurgence in the next several years if it hasn’t happened already? (Which we’re pretty sure it has.) Perhaps another post for another time.

Until next filler post, stay gold! 🙂


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