Childhood Games of the 80s

Updated April 17, 2017

Childhood games from the 1980s can be nostalgic to adults who grew up in the decade. Aside from basic kid's games and board games, popular 1980s childhood games included video and computer games as well. Although the first widespread video games were released in the 1970s, home video games and computer games became especially popular in the 1980s.

Computer Games

Personal computers took off in the 1980s. Computer games for kids combined fun with education. Kids learnt geography and studied other cultures as they tried to locate Carmen Sandiego in the 1985 PC game "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" The PC game "The Oregon Trail" taught history, as it asked kids to plan a strategy to guide pioneers to the West. "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" instructed kids on the correct way to type as they tried to achieve typing goals. These were just a few of the computer games in the 1980s.

Video Games

Although the Atari came out in the 1970s, home video-game consoles became more popular with the release of the Nintendo, the Game Boy and the Sega Master System, to name a few. "Super Mario Brothers" came out for the Nintendo system in 1985. Mario, Luigi and Link, a character from "The Legend of Zelda" games, debuted to become video-game icons. Another popular Nintendo game was "Tetris," a puzzle game that entertained leagues of 1980s kids.

Board Games

Although computer games and video games hooked 1980s kids, they were not as commonplace as they grew to be over the next few decades. Board games entertained kids with a few hours to spare. A 1986 board game called "Fireball Island" took up many an afternoon of a number of children in the 1980s. In the game, the players navigated a volcanic island to secure a jewel belonging to the island's god. "Trivial Pursuit" first appeared in the 1980s as well. Other classic board games like "Operation" and "Clue" continued to entertain kids in the 1980s.

Other Kid's Games

Kids from the 1980s played games outdoors as well. Childhood games from the 1980s include skateboarding with friends around the neighbourhood. Skateboard races and obstacle courses became impromptu games between young kids, preteens and teenagers alike. Sports such as baseball, basketball and soccer gathered neighbourhood kids, too. Playground games like "Red Light, Green Light" amused kids during recess.

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About the Author

Amy McNulty has worked as a freelance writer since 2005. She has written for "Chocolate Zoom" and "The Japanese Tutor" among others. McNulty received a Bachelor of Arts in English with honors from Carthage College, where she also pursued minors in Asian studies and French.