Basic video games—largely inspired by WWII—have been around since as early as 1947, but it was in the 1980s when these games picked up momentum and gained popularity throughout the country. In the beginning of that decade, Pac-Man fever swept the nation, partially because it was a video game that both boys and girls loved to play. The player controls Pac-Man through a maze, eating pac-dots. When all the pac-dots are eaten, Pac-Man is taken to the next stage. The game is often credited with being a landmark in video game history, and it is among the most famous arcade games of all time.

In 1983, the Nintendo Entertainment System became the first successful 8-bit machine, and over 60 million units have been sold to date. The flagship superstar of the Nintendo platform is our favorite Italian plumber—Mario! In 1985, Super Mario Brothers, the game that went on to define “platforming,” was developed by Nintendo. The game boasts one of the most recognizable video game theme songs of all time.

Let’s fast forward all the way to 2009—where Angry Birds dominated many video game conversations. Developed by Rovio Entertainment Ltd., the game had a mind boggling 1 billion downloads by May 2012. In the game, players launch birds at pigs stationed on various structures, with the intent of destroying all the pigs on the playing field.

What’s your favorite video game from those listed on the infographic by National Geographic? Please share in the comments section!

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