There was Once a U.S. National Video Game Team, and This Guy Was Its Captain

A leader of a national team of athletes could reasonably expect to make a few endorsements or appearances, and in his day, Donn Nauert had his. Whether supplying a pro's advice on Gradius or judging a video gaming triathlon, the captain of the U.S. National Video Game Team offered confidence, rectitude and, of course, a telegenic thumbs-up and winning smile perfect for the 1980s.

Nauert, in this video compiled by Scott Patterson, gives us an unironic introduction to the Konami Code and pitches the Atari 7800—whose $20 games in 1986 translate roughly to a $40 title today. In the finale, Nauert judges some kind of televised gaming event. His duties seem no more complicated than slipping a USNVGT jacket on the shoulders of the winner as he is cheered on by his Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers in the audience.



This makes me really appreciate being born in the 90s.