A Brief History of Arcade Gaming

Noduffershere/ January 27, 2022/ Entertainment Options, Gaming History/ 0 comments

Arcade games might not mean much to you if you were born after the year 2000. However, the kids from the 1980s and 1990s had experienced the magic of these games. In those times, arcades were considered the best video games of all time. One could see herds of young kids running towards these coin-operated machines. Some asked their parents to get them a bunch of coins when they visited the malls. 

The arcade games of today consist mostly of competitive or ticket games. It is quite different from the times of old-school games like Galaga, Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong. Arcade games are basically coin-operated machines that are programmed with video games. 

Once you drop the appropriate coin in the slot, the machine allows you to play the game. The concept of arcade gaming is easy to understand. It is this simplicity that people love even today. 

The origins

The concept of arcade gaming began in the late 1930s. In those days, there were a few coin-operated pinball machines. As the years passed, games became even better. By the late 1960s, arcade games were a source of great fun and excitement. 

One big example from those times is the light gun shooter games. The players were given a gun made of plastic. Then, pointing at the screen, they had to shoot whatever appeared on it. One of the most popular games was Duck Hunt. Some of the earliest racing games appeared around this time as well. 

Grand Prix was one such racing game, which was introduced in 1969. Developers began wondering if they could make a game with a steering wheel. Some thought about creating a game with aircraft controls. As a result, we now have a lot of variety in arcade games.

Popularity in the 1970s and 1980s

The market for arcade games had become a lot better during the 1970s. Even small kids could play the games like Pac-Man and Space Invaders. Within a short period of time, arcades had become immensely popular. Many food chains began keeping coin-operated arcade machines in their outlets. 

The 1980s brought an even better technology in these games. Now the players had the freedom to choose different ways to play their favourite games. The most popular were the motion-controlled games. With these games, kids could sit on a plastic motorcycle and ride by controlling its motion. 

According to the motions, the game was controlled on the screen. Towards the end of the 1980s, many had begun to lose interest in arcade games.

The fighting games of the 1990s

In the early 1990s, gaming enthusiasts were introduced to competitive fighting games. This began with the introduction of Street Fighter II by Capcom. When it came out, the arcade gaming scene came alive once again. Crowds of enthusiastic gamers began to throng the coin-operated arcade machines once again. 

The success of Street Fighter II resulted in the introduction of many such games. King of Fighters, Mortal Kombat, and Virtua Fighter were some of them. With the revival of interest in arcade games, racing games were re-introduced.

Today’s arcade gaming scene

In recent times, arcades comprise mostly of games that have different mechanisms of control. Much of the popular arcade games are now dance games, shooting games, and rhythm games. Fighting games have still not diminished in popularity. Today, many of the popular arcade games focus more on the competition. This is a good strategy to make the players come back for more.

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