20 Interesting Facts About Your Favorite Games

Many of your favorite video, board, or family games have been around for decades. The gameplay they offer is so fun and exciting. We get caught up in it so much that we forget about everything else.

But, many of our favorite games have a rich history that is as interesting as the games themselves. Here is some fascinating trivia about some of the most popular games in the world.

1. Words With Friends – One Of Your Favorite Games is Also a Lifesaver!

Georgie Fletcher’s husband, Simon, might have ended up dead if she never signed up to play Words With Friends, one of the most popular mobile games. Like many other social games, Words With Friends includes a chat feature. So, while Georgie played the game with her frequent opponent, Beth Legler from Missouri, the two would often chat.

During one of their friendly chats, Georgie told Beth that her husband had been feeling ill. Since Beth’s husband, Larry, is a doctor, she immediately relayed Simon’s symptoms to him. Larry recognized the severity of Simon’s condition straight away and insisted that Georgie must take him to a hospital immediately. After running some tests, the doctors found that Simon has a 99% blockage near his heart. The condition would’ve been fatal if it was left untreated.

2. World of Warcraft is the Highest Grossing Video Game Ever

Word of Warcraft has made over $10 billion over its lifetime. It is the highest-grossing video game of all time. Over 100 million WoW accounts have been created since the game launched in 2004.

3. Rubik Had a Very Hard Time Solving His Cube

While most of us have heard about the Rubik’s Cube, not many of us are familiar with its creator, Erno Rubik. His “magic cube” was created by accident. As a professor of architecture, Rubik wanted to create a twistable box that will help him explain three-dimensional geometry. After he gave it a few twists and turns, he tried to restore everything to the way it was.

Rubiks Cube - Favorite Games

It was much more challenging than he thought it would be. It took Rubik about a month to solve it. Even though the challenge frustrated many, it was also quite fun, so the new toy spread like wildfire all over the globe.

4. Fruit Machines Were Made Popular Thanks to Ronald Reagan and George Bush

Most games of chance out there are age-old. Since they are pretty basic and straightforward, they are not much fun to play when there is no stake involved. But, fruit machines, also known as slot machines, video slots, or simply slots, are a completely different story.

Because of the way slot machines work as well as the myriad of different slot games out there, they become popular even outside of the casino environment. But, video slots own a lot to two U.S. presidents, Ronald Regan and George Bush.

Ronald Regan raised taxes 11 times during his presidency. Because of this, many businesses were forced to find additional ways to increase their revenue. During those days, flat-out gambling games like blackjack and roulette were illegal in most states.

But, video slots could be reclassified as a standard video game instead of a game of chance that’s strictly tied to gambling. The popularity of video slots continued to grow as it became acceptable to install them outside of casinos.

5. The Idea for Pac-Man Comes From Pizza

If your pizza pie reminds you of Pac-Man when you remove one slice, it’s because it essentially is Pac-Man. After Toru Iwatani took one slice of pizza, the shape of his now-iconic maze-crawling character came to mind.

6. Tetris Was the First Game to Be Played in Outer Space

Back in 1993, Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr. A. Serebrov bought a Game Boy along with him when he journeyed to the MIR Space Station on a Soyuz ™-17 rocket.

Tetris - Favourite Games

Considering that Tetris was developed by a Soviet software engineer, Serebrov chose it to be the first game played in space. As a notable part of video game history, the Game Boy he used was sold at an auction for $1,220.

7. Super Mario Rockstars

When you closely look at the names of the Koopalings in Super Mario, a pattern emerges. Many of them were named after famous musicians. For instance, Reznor, the fire-breathing-triceratops, was named after the founder of Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor.

8. Obama Campaigned in 18 of American’s Favorite Games

Barack Obama’s campaign purchased ad slots in 18 different video games during the 2008 presidential election. The ads ran in 10 different states. The former president’s iconic “Vote for Change” billboards appeared in games such as Madden, Skate, and Burnout Paradise. The campaign chose to place their ads in the favorite games of Americans aged between 18 and 34.

9. The Smells of Racing and Soccer

In Britain, Gran Turismo 2 and FIFA 2001 shipped as a one-of-a-kind “scratch and sniff” discs. If you rubbed the Gran Turismo 2’s disk, you would smell an “authentic pit stop.” Rubbing a FIFA disc would deliver “the smell of a real football pitch.”

10. Master Chief is a DJ

Steve Downes is famous for being the voice behind Master Chief. However, his voice was famous even before Halo came to be. Even today, the voice of Master Chief can be heard in the ether, outside the Halo Universe. Downes is a famous radio DJ whose career dates back to the 1970s.

11. Super Mario Was Inspired by a Real Person

And he is not a plumber. In fact, the real Super Mario used to be the Italian-American landlord of Nintendo’s U.S. office. His name was Mario Seagle. While he was still just a Donkey Kong character, Super Mario didn’t have a proper name. The character was called Jumpman.

Seagle’s tenants realized that the character looked a lot like their landlord, so they decided to name the character after him. Interestingly, Seagle wore suspenders instead of overalls.

12. Monopoly Helped Allied POWs Escape

Surprisingly, the Nazis did something that was not quite Nazi-like during World War II. Allied POWs were allowed to play board games during their captivity. The Nazis even let the British government send board games to its soldiers in German POW camps. Naturally, among the games they sent, they included one of the favorite games of many Brits—Monopoly. But, it was no ordinary game of monopoly. Instead of fake money, the boxes included real banknotes.

Monopoly - Favorite Games

In cooperation with the game’s publisher, the British government also managed to successfully hide tools for escape among the Monopoly money. They included folded silk maps, metal files, and compasses. British historians estimate that this clever trick could have helped thousands of Allied POWs escape.

13. The PS1 Was Supposed to Be a Nintendo Console

The PlayStation 1 started as a project by Nintendo. Nintendo chose Sony to design the electronics of their new console. However, they scrapped their plans entirely. Sony liked the idea so much that they decided to continue and make a console of their own, bringing us the PS1.

14. The Number of Maximum Points in Pac-Man is 3,333,360

To achieve the perfect score in Pac-Man, one has to consume all the ghosts, dots, and bonus symbols in the game. Achieving a perfect score in Pac-Man is no easy task since the maximum score possible is a whopping 3,333,360 points. However, in 1999, 19 years after the advent of Pacman, famous video gamer Billy Mitchel managed to reach the perfect score. It took him 6 hours of gameplay.

Pac-Man - Favorite Games

15. The First Console with Internal Storage Was the Sega Saturn

When it was launched in 1994, the Sega Saturn shipped with 1 megabyte of memory. It made history as the first gaming console to use internal storage. However, despite the fact that it was one of the most revolutionary fifth generation consoles, the Sega Saturn failed to reach commercial success.

Sega Saturn

16. The Inspiration Behind Pokemon

The creator of Pokémon, Satoshi Tajiri, revealed that the magical creatures of his mega-popular franchise were inspired by butterflies. As a kid, he liked to watch these curious caterpillars transform into gorgeous winged insects. Today, Pokémon monsters come in all shapes and sizes, and bug/flying Pokémon, such as Beautifly, are still an important part of the universe.

17. The Best Selling Gaming Consoles in the World Are The Nintendo DS and PS2

Even with all the new innovations, advancements, and ground-breaking consoles that have come out since, the Nintendo DS and PlayStation remain the best selling video game consoles of all times. Each has around 155 million units sold.

18. Ninja Gaiden Popularized Cutscenes

Cutscenes are a given now, but, 30 years ago, a story told within a game through cutscenes was an entirely new concept. The NES version of Ninja Gaiden featured 20 minutes of cinematic cutscenes. The deep story in the game revolutionized this concept.

19. A Human Gene is Named After Sonic the Hedgehog

In a way, the bellowed automorphic blue hedgehog lives inside all of us. A protein and gene that determines that you have two eyes and that separates the left part of the brain from the right is named after Sonic the Hedgehog. It even has a “spiky” appearance.

Sonic The Hedgehog

20. Operation Started Out As A College Assignment

While studying industrial design at the University of Illinois, John Spinello was given a task to create a game or toy. So, one could say that one of the world’s favorite games involving mild electrocution and improbable surgery started out as a homework assignment.

Operation - Favorite Games

The student’s godfather, who worked for a toy company, saw Spinello’s project and realized it had potential. He persuaded Spinello to take his invention to the company’s CEO.

Well, there you have it, 20 facts you might not have known about your favourite games. I hope that you’ve learned something interesting today.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Gaming category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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