ByRob Harris, writer at
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

Whether you're a casual Candy Crush player or a sleepless Call of Duty obsessive, we can all agree on one thing: video games are awesome.

The fast-growing $100 billion industry is only getting bigger, with gaming now achieving wide, mainstream success and consoles finding their way into millions of homes. But how knowledgable are you about the industry's vast and fascinating history? Here are 15 awesome facts about gaming you probably never knew...

1. When Space Invaders was released in Japan it became so popular that it caused a nationwide shortage of the 100 Yen coin.

2. Magikarp's infamously useless Pokemon move 'Splash' is actually 'Hop' in Japan, explaining why it isn't a water-type move.

3. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall has the largest non-procedurally generated map in all of gaming, boasting 62, 394 square miles of digital territory.

4. The record for the fastest button mashing was set by Toshiyuki Takahashi and stands at 16 presses per second.

5. In Deus Ex the World Trade Center's Twin Towers could not be rendered in game due to memory limitations. The developers justified its absence by having the towers destroyed by terrorists. A year after the game was released, the 9/11 attacks on the real Twin Towers took place.

6. There have been over 160 officially licensed Star Wars games, and more are on their way!

7. A study conducted in the US found that people who played Nintendo's Super Mario Sunshine were more likely to be kind and helpful in real life.

8. Link, the protagonist of Zelda, was inspired by Disney's Peter Pan.

9. Mario's mushrooms are based on the toxic Amantia Muscaria, which, when eaten, produces the sensation that your body is growing larger.

10. Since 1986, no Dragon Quest game has ever launched on a weekday, so as to avoid masses of workers calling in sick to stay home and play.

11. Tetris for mobile is the number one best selling game ever, with over 100 million copies sold.

12. Tomb Raider: Legend was originally meant to have an opening cinematic introducing the story, but it never appeared because someone forgot to add it to the code!

13. Final Fantasy got its name due to the developers being on the verge of bankruptcy, hence it was their 'final' attempt to save themselves. The franchise has since gone on to spawn a whopping 79 games in total!

14. The makers of Grand Theft Auto paid a public relations company to deliberately generate negative buzz around their game, making it more controversial and thus more successful.

15. The Xbox was originally named DirectXbox, as it was initially designed to show how Microsoft's Direct X graphics technology could benefit the console market.



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