July 8th is National Video Game Day. It’s a day to draw the curtains, fire up the joysticks, and disappear into a world of someone else’s making.
To pay tribute to National Video Game Day, LouisianaBets.com, your home for Louisiana sports betting, is diving into the gaming world in search of the most beloved video games among Louisiana residents. Our survey looked at two data points. First Statista’s data on 2022’s Top 10 best-selling video game franchises, and second, Google Trends search engine history showing the most Google’d video games from June 27th, 2022 to June 27th, 2023.
Louisiana’s Favorite Video Games
According to our research, these are Louisiana's top five favorite video games.
Top 2 Video Games in Louisiana
Considering it’s the best-selling video game of all time, it’s not exactly surprising to see Minecraft rate out as the most beloved release for Louisiana gamers. While there’s no one reason that Minecraft has become such a sensation since its 2011 debut, the open-world “sandbox” nature of the gameplay — encouraging players the freedom to explore, build, and gather resources at their own pace — is a huge part of the appeal.
In fact, it’s estimated that there are over 100 million people playing Minecraft each day.
Second on our list of Louisiana’s favorite video games is the massively successful Pokémon franchise. But believe it or not, the original game was not released in America until late-1998, despite being available in Japan since ’96. It was presumed that kids in the U.S. didn’t have the attention span for such a complex game, and they wouldn’t respond to the “cutesy” Pokémon characters. There was even an internal effort by Nintendo to Americanize the game via a graphical overhaul that reportedly would have seen the game's unofficial mascot Pikachu re-animated into a tiger with big breasts.
The Rest of The Top 5 Video Games
Grand Theft Auto rates out as the third most popular video game in Louisiana. The open-world crime game has an interesting reputation as both one of the most innovative, best-reviewed, and best-selling games of all time — but also one of the most controversial
In 2008, the Guinness Book of World Records even named Grand Theft Auto as the most controversial video game in history, with over 4,000 articles published about its graphic violence and supposed connection to real-life crimes. Following the release of Grand Theft Auto III and its Vice City sequel — the first two games to bring the action into a 3D world — several violent crimes committed by teenagers were blamed on the game, with some perpetrators even admitting they were inspired by the series to commit crimes.
In comparison to Grand Theft Auto, number four on our list is child’s play. In fact, creator Will Wright sought to develop a “virtual doll house” when he set out to make The Sims. In the game, which has spawned multiple sequels and expansion packs, players must simply tend to the emotional and physical well-being of the “sims” they create. Deceptively simple, and highly addictive, The Sims franchise has sold more than 200 million copies.
Call of Duty rounds out our list of Louisiana’s favorite video games at number five. Selling 400 million copies worldwide, the first-person shooter was initially a series about World War II, but in 2007 the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare took the “CoD” franchise in an entirely new direction. This first modern-day version of the game is widely considered to be amongst the greatest video games of all time.
Another way to celebrate National Video Game Day would be to check out the odds and consider wagering on eSports. Betting on eSports is highly regulated in Louisiana, as many gamers competing are under 18, but Louisiana sportsbook apps can list certain events if they seek permission from regulators.
Jeff Parker is an entertainment writer for LouisianaBets.com. A writer for film, television and the internet, Jeff is a life long movie buff, with a Masters Degree in Popular Culture. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he works full time as documentary filmmaker and producer.