Gen Z 100: Games and Childhood Fun

January 10, 2020

While the world we live in has challenges galore, our generation has always found a way to have fun. Below are the games and ways we enjoyed ourselves this millennium.


  • Pokémon (Glenda Chiang)


We wanted to be the very best like no one ever was. There was no guarantee that Pokémon shaped our childhood, regardless if we actually played the games or not. There are cute Pokémon, cool Pokémon, and some Pokémon that just catch our eye. A lot of people have a favorite Pokémon without ever having to play any of the games and that’s perfectly okay because Pokémon is for everyone.


  • Pillow Pets (Glenda Chiang)


Pillow Pets were a staple in some childhoods. We relished in the simplicity of having a pillow AND having a stuffed animal. It was almost an incognito excuse to have a stuffed animal in the first place. It was the perfect marketing ploy because we can have a friend in the shape of a pillow.


  • Zoopals (Glenda Chiang)


Even if some of us didn’t personally buy Zoo Pals to eat their snacks off of, we have at least seen the commercials about the product in a simple jingle. The simplicity of Zoo Pals has gotten a novelty as there have been plates where it features characters like Arthur. “Zoo Pals make eating fun!” and even though they are just paper plates with animal prints on them, it doesn’t take away the simplicity of little joys in animal-shaped objects. We loved the animal-shaped plates because it was so different from regular ol’ circle paper plates.


  • Poptropica (Valeria Acosta)


Released in 2007 and created by Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid Poptropica was a game many kids played. It had the same vibe when first getting into computer games like Animal Jam and Club Penguin. The game had character customization and multiple adventures within it each having unique storylines such as zombies, superheroes, and island survival. Working hard many would spend hours solving puzzles to finish a storyline.  


  • Flappy Bird (Alexis Drummond)


On May 24, 2013, a man named Don Nguyen created a game that would be every phone screen’s nightmare. After the creator posted his high score on his new game, Flappy Bird became a big hit. After around 50 million downloads, people became obsessed with trying to beat their previous score. Due to the difficulty of the game, people began breaking their phones from tapping too hard and “rage-quitting.” On February 10, 2014, Flappy Bird was officially taken off the app store. 


  • Dinosaur Game (Alexis Drummond)


In 2014, the game every student loves to play when the internet is down was created. The infamous T-Rex game has given entertainment to students who don’t want to finish their essays or watch the video that will put them to sleep. In this game, you control a T-rex as he runs through a desert. You can push the spacebar to make him jump over cacti and the down arrow to duck under pterodactyls. Only one person has gotten to the end. This game has kept students and office workers busy procrastinating and will continue to for years to come. 


  • Browser Flash Games (Giovanni Palazzolo)


When it comes to young gaming, we can all say we’ve played on browser games before. Now I don’t mean Poptropica or Club Penguin which can be considered pretty extensive. I mean the type of games you play on your phone nowadays. You know what I mean, the games that were on huge sites like Notdoppler, Vivalagames, Kongregate, and even like Games2girls, we can all say we’ve spent several hours drowned in the endless, cheap – Yet fun – quick games that just seemed to be really entertaining when we were younger. 


  • Slime (Irl Paulalengan)


Who doesn’t know the sticky and stretchy, gummy-like toy? Slime is proof that innovation exists; putty is not stretchy enough, and magic sand does not stick together. What started originally on Nickelodeon Kids Choice awards, green slimes, now has become a trend that most gen Z gone through. Need a stress reliever? Slime. Need a satisfying video? Slime. Need a keyboard cleaner? Slime. Need a classic toy to play with? SLIME! It is such a trend that many people can get a lot of money just making video poking slime all day long!


  • Minecraft (Ulises Perez)


Minecraft became popular when it first launched in 2009, with a game of endless amount of buildings. One year later, the game became the best-selling game with 17 million copies sold, and that’s only on PC. On all platforms, over 60 million copies were sold. Minecraft is not only known for its building creations, but for becoming a very well-known game on Youtube. Youtubers, including SkyDoesMinecraft, Captain Sparklez, Ssundee, make viral Minecraft videos for kids to enjoy watching and spread the enjoyment of playing the game.


  • Nintendo (Brianna Sanchez)


Whether it was the Nintendo DS, Wii, the Wii U, or the Mario Kart app on our phones, in one way or another, Nintendo has integrated into our lives. As little kids, the Nintendo DS opened our eyes to communication when we used Pictochat and responsibility when we had a virtual Nintendog. The Wii embraced our inner racer as well as our inner dancer with games like Mario Kart and Just Dance. We could find many forms of entertainment through these games and consoles in the comfort of our own home which made Gen Z tech-savvy as well.


  • Cool Math Games (Katiana Williams)


The website that teachers loved and I think kids loved even more. Cool Math Games was a game website that kids started playing in elementary school and teenagers still play in high school. Between all of the Papa’s games such as Papa’s Freezeria, Papa’s Wingaria, Papa’s Pizzeria and many more, the website had loads of fun games that kids couldn’t get enough of. When you were done with your work, you would go onto Cool Math Games and teachers actually wouldn’t care because it was “educational”. Teaching kids about budgeting, time management, and a little bit of math. 


  • Nerf Guns (Katiana Williams)


The toy that everyone wanted. Whether you were male or female, every kid wanted one and you always wanted the newest gun to take down your friends in a battle. Nerf guns went from simple one-shot toy guns to a revolver gun, to a fully automatic toy gun but still caused no pain. The bullets went from foam darts to foam discs, to elastic balls. I remember always wanting to get the best attachments for them as well whether it was a laser pointer, a scope, or extra magazines. Nerf created a toy that created hours of fun. 


  • Game2girls (Leilah Weathersby)


Most Gen Z girls have played on Games2Girls, an online game playing website that allows you to play a multitude of fun games for free. Most of the games include dress up games, adventurous games, as well as cooking games that allow you to be creative in your own way.


  • Sony Playstation 4 (Michael Weathersby)


The Sony Playstation 4 was first revealed at E3 2013, replacing Sony’s Previous console: the Playstation 3. Sony had learned from their past and as a result, approached the marketing and overall vision of their new console differently. The hard work and dedication of Sony paid off as Sony’s new console had sold more than 102 million lifetime units with an ecosystem built around high-quality exclusive games such as Spiderman, Uncharted 4 and The God of War. 


  • Fortnite (Michael Weathersby)


Fortnite was first announced in 2011 followed by various game betas. As a third-person battle royale with a brilliant build feature, Fortnite, which was free to play, would soon impact the gaming world. Officially released in 2017, Fortnite boomed in popularity, within its first three years, Fortnite saw more than 250 million players worldwide becoming one of the most iconic games ever.


  • The Super Smash Bros Franchise (Michael Weathersby)


First debuted in 1999 on the Nintendo 64, The Smash Bros franchise has captivated the support and interest among millions of gamers. Featuring iconic game characters from a vast variety of video game franchises, the fighting-based Nintendo game found a release on every one of Nintendo’s home consoles following the N64. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which was released last year, has sold more than 12 million units and shows no signs of slowing down.


  • Five Nights at Freddys (Lily Eberly)


This game took up about 2/3 of our middle school years. Everyone had Freddy Fazbear backpacks and those shirts from Hot Topic. Five Nights at Freddy’s really set up a new form of horror for our generation as we rely on cameras rather than walk around a map. It is safe to say that some new friends were made from the liking of this game, and the amount of hype for new theories and sequels was very exciting.


  • Club Penguin (Serenity Monroe)


It was released in 2005 and it seriously defined the decade. Many kids we know have played this and have tried all the minigames, bought all the new outfits, PLAYED THE CRIME STORY, and tried to join the same server as your friends and failed because it was too full. Convincing your parents to buy your membership for a month and then being sad when it went away because you weren’t ‘cash money’. Genuinely a good game. 


  • Animal Jam (Serenity Monroe)


Alike other games online, people would rage over this. The minigames and joining servers that were always full, trying to find all of the easter eggs and jumping on the lake, trying to crack it. You could spend hours getting gems and then wasting them all on the rare items when ironically, it was a ripped piece of cloth. Besides that, it had so much to it that there wasn’t anything to hate about it. Definitely one game we can all appreciate.

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