Today is July 8, and according to various repositories of obscure holidays, that means it is National Videogame Day. You’d be forgiven for confusing it with the National Videogame Day of September 12, or for believing both ‘holidays’ are entirely made-up, but historians have managed to trace the origins of the date back to David Earle and the Kid Video Warriors.
If you’re now wondering who David Earle or the Kid Video Warriors are, that’s where the trail runs cold. A couple of years ago, Frank Cifaldi of the Video Game History Foundation tracked down the earliest appearance of ‘Videogame Day’ in print to the 1991 edition of Chase’s Calendar of Events.
That listing declares a “Video Games Day” for July 8: “A day for kids of all ages who enjoy videogames to celebrate the fun they have while playing them.” David Earle is listed as the sponsor, and he’s credited as the president of an organisation called Kid Video Warriors. Getting a date into Chase’s Calendar is as simple as submitting that date to the publisher as a sponsor.
The date appeared in Chase’s Calendar under Earle’s sponsorship until 1996, though it bounced from July 8 to July 12, and then to September 10. In 1997, the date is set for September 12, though Earle is no longer listed as a sponsor at that point.
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This is all a long way of saying that your guess is right: National Videogame Day is absolutely a made-up holiday. But it was specifically made up by a guy named David Earle in 1991, and continues to come around every year because he submitted the date to a book. So, uh, never give up on your dreams, even if your dream is to make people tweet about a holiday you came up with every year.