National Video Games Day arrives on September 12th, not to be confused with its cousin Video Game Day from back in July. It's a time to celebrate all things gaming, whether that be by hosting or attending a party, digging out your favorite retro console and games, or donning an apron and making a batch of treats inspired by iconic franchises close to your heart.
There are as many ways to celebrate as there are people, but we've compiled a list of 8 ways to celebrate with friends or by yourself that we think you'll enjoy.
Image via The Odyssey Online
What could be better than playing video games on National Video Games Day? Making and eating video game-themed food, of course! Scouring the Internet brings up countless ideas for recipes, ranging from Slime meat buns --the Japanese version of a meat pie or pasty -- to Koopa Shell cake pops and mushroom ice pops. There are even recipes out there for Kirby cakes and Triforce lemon bars.
Inventive as these are, few recipes can top these Poke Ball cakes pictured above.
However, if you're not feeling up to making anything yourself and still want something sweet, you can always place a custom order at your favorite bakery for something along the lines of this PlayStation 3 cake.
If you have food, of course you're going to need drinks. Luckily for you, the Internet is brimming with a wide variety of choices for game-themed drinks -- particularly cocktails.
Whether it's a nifty take on the Heart Potion from Legend of Zelda or a simple, elderflower concoction inspired by the Elder Scrolls, there's a drink out there for you. And if you're a Pokemon fan, you'll definitely want to check out our custom recipes for cocktails inspired by your favorite pocket monsters:
This next one might be best of all, though, both for its adaptation of source material and the fact that it works just as well as a non-alcoholic beverage: homemade Chateau Romani. Careful how much you drink of any of these, though, or you might be seeing aliens too.
Image via PCGamer
The most natural way to celebrate the day would, of course, be to play video games. If you're a social bug, gather your friends together for a multiplayer marathon. Revisit some of the old classics like the Nintendo 64 Mario Party games and work your way through to modern classics like Overwatch and Mario Kart 8.
There are also less traditional options, like setting up an elimination competition with Fire Emblem Fates to see who reigns supreme. Better yet, make it a potluck, where everyone brings their multiplayer game and system of choice, and see what happens from there. You might even find a new favorite!
Image via Quantic Foundry
There's no need to wait for Halloween or a convention to throw your own cosplay party. Don, make, or buy your favorite costume, invite all your gaming friends and have your own game convention! Plus, it's the perfect reason to make all those game-themed foods and drinks, and you'll have everyone you need for your multiplayer marathon.
Like with any holiday, if your schedules don't allow for a gathering on the actual day, you can always observe it over the weekend or whatever other time happens to be convenient for everyone involved.
Image via WikiWand
Despite being fairly commonplace nowadays, tattoos still remain one of the most visible and permanent ways to express yourself. Why not permanently stamp on an image from your favorite video game to show everyone how devoted you really are? With a plethora of games and characters to draw inspiration from, the possibilities are almost endless -- check out these awesome gaming tattoos if you don't believe me.
Earthbound fans could always choose a playful twist on the "Mother" and heart tattoo as an option. Or you could be really brave and try something more detailed -- like full color representations of the elemental crystals from Final Fantasy or some of the more detailed and extravagant Keyblades from Kingdom Hearts.
Still, there is something to be said for simplicity, and for Pokemon fans, it's hard to beat the retro charm in this throwback to Pokemon Yellow.
Header image via Daniel Huscroft
Pokemon tattoo image via Pinterest
Another way to celebrate all things video gaming is to go back to where your life as a gamer began. Start one of your favorite games again -- the one that first made you fall in love with video games. Most modern consoles and handhelds offer some kind of support for retro gaming (except the Switch, of course). So why not take advantage of that?
If you don't have your original system or feel sick at the thought of paying the asking price for that retro cartridge on Ebay, you should still have no problem finding a way to fire up Spyro the Dragon or revisit Dinosaur Land in Super Mario World. If you're fairly new to gaming and have not dabbled in retro, then it's the perfect opportunity to see what we old cranks are always going on about!
Image via La Casa de El
On the other hand, you could always branch out and try something new as a way to deepen the love you have for your favorite hobby. Hardcore FPS fan? Test your reflexes with some platformers, or maybe try something that combines FPS with other genres, like the Metroid Prime games. Never tried an MMORPG? Give something like Final Fantasy XIV a try. (Not only is there constantly something new to do, but we'd even have you covered with our FFXIV guides.) Or, if you have the means to, try switching systems for a new experience all around.
Either way, apart from having a blast with a variety of games, you're also giving yourself a brain boost by creating new neuropathways to process the new knowledge and ways of thinking about what you're doing -- so it's a win-win situation
Image via 123rf
We all know someone who isn't a gamer, whether it's a relative or co-worker. Unless they are adamantly opposed to video games, though, this is the perfect time to introduce them to something they may enjoy.
That friend of yours who loved Brain Teasers as a kid might just find the perfect fit with the Professor Layton series. The co-worker who hasn't touched a game since Banjo-Kazooie? Bring out Yooka-Laylee and see if that brings a sparkle back to the eye. Or try out something with your grandparents, like Little Big Planet or co-op with New Super Mario Bros. or Super Mario 3D World.
You probably won't convert your granny into a diehard Call of Duty fan—although that depends on the granny in question—but at the very least, you'll learn more about the people around you and maybe find new ways to bond with them.
How will you be celebrating Video Games Day? Have any of the ideas in our list inspired you? Or do you have something else in mind that will help you have a gamertastic time? Let us know down in the comments!