Video game arcades are coin-operated machines that accept tokens or quarters from players and display video games on an electronic monitor. Users input through buttons and joysticks, with complex algorithms used to keep the gameplay engaging for players.
Following a video game crash in 1983, arcades saw an upsurge in popular fighting games such as Street Fighter 2, which allowed users to fight friends digitally – leading to other famous fighting titles such as Tekken and Mortal Kombat becoming popular choices.
Pong was an innovative game when it made its debut nationwide in 1972, acting as an alternative to Atari’s Computer Space: an ambitious coin-operated version of Spacewar!, an early mainframe computer-based space battle simulation developed by engineers.
The simple table tennis game was an enormous hit, not least because it showed the general public that computers could be much more than obscure tools for rocket scientists and engineers – this was when gaming officially entered mainstream consciousness.
In the 1970s and 80s, arcade game development flourished rapidly – including many with sci-fi themes – prompting an explosion of sci-fi arcade titles like Pac-Man, Galaxian and Donkey Kong. These new games required greater skill, timing and hand-eye coordination than their early shooting or racing counterparts; furthermore, rapidly developing hardware enabled new types of gameplay that pushed past what early systems allowed such as maze chase games like Pac-Man, Galaxian, Donkey Kong.
Today’s home console gamers may assume video games have always been part of our culture; but it is important to remember that before there were PlayStation and Xbox consoles there was arcade gaming.
Nolan Bushnell’s space war-themed videogame inspired Bill Pitts and Hugh Tuck to develop Galaxy Game, a coin-operated video game first installed at Stanford University in 1971. While considered unsuccessful by today’s standards, Galaxy Game helped establish arcade gaming culture and lead to many more coin-operated video game designs being created over time.
By the late ’70s, home consoles and shifting social attitudes had caused arcade games to fall from favor. However, thanks to an emerging generation of gamers like Dance Dance Revolution players today are enjoying its nostalgic thrill in person and arcades are thriving again!
Once Pong made its debut, many companies developed similar arcade games. While Nolan Bushnell is often given credit for pioneering video arcades, the very first coin-operated arcade game appeared back in 1971 under the name Computer Space.
Though its design resembled more that of a pinball machine than that of an arcade cabinet, Atari 2600 became the first widely distributed video game. So popular was this title that teenagers flocked into arcades just so they could experience its magic. This was also the beginning of the Video Game Culture we know today.
Soon afterward, other arcade games were released that further revolutionized gaming. Galaxian and Space Invaders both became massive hits, popularizing the shoot-’em-up genre. But PAC-MAN really changed video gaming arcades forever – he created nonviolent maze game playable by players of all ages that was simple yet difficult to master; featuring some of the earliest video game cutscenes; helping arcades expand demographically to include women and children gamers alike.
Once kids began playing Arcade Games, they became instantly addicted. Spending hours at their local arcade feeding quarters into machines was like an addiction that became impossible to shake – this was back before computers or video game consoles existed and arcades were the sole venue available to access such titles.
In the ’70s, many different arcade games were introduced into arcades. Some proved more successful than others – PAC-MAN proved hugely popular due to its nonviolence and easy rules; it even introduced an entirely new genre that still exists today!
At the close of the ’80s, arcades began to lose favor as home console gaming proliferated. That didn’t mean arcades completely vanished though – in 1999 an exciting new arcade game called Dance Dance Revolution debuted in American arcades – players hit floor pads in sync with arrows on-screen while listening to music; its success resulted in a dedicated community being formed around this title!