Golden age of online video arcade video games


Throughout the late seventies, online video arcade game engineering had become innovative more than enough to present superior-quality graphics and appears, but it was nevertheless rather simple (reasonable images and full motion online video ended up not nevertheless readily available, and only a couple of video games utilised spoken voice) and so the success of a game had to rely on very simple and enjoyment gameplay. This emphasis on the gameplay is why a lot of of these video games carry on to be enjoyed right now even with owning been vastly outdated by modern computing engineering.


The Golden Age was a time of great technical and style creative imagination in arcade video games. Video games ended up intended in a wide variety of genres although builders had to operate in rigid limits of readily available processor electric power and memory. The era also observed the rapid distribute of online video arcades throughout North The us, Europe and Japan.

At this time, online video arcade video games commenced to appear in supermarkets, dining places, liquor suppliers, gasoline stations and a lot of other retail establishments searching for further cash flow. Well-known video games occasionally brought on a crush of teenagers, eager to try the latest amusement entry.[citation essential]

The two most prosperous arcade game businesses of this era Namco (the Japanese business that established Pac-Man, Pole Posture, and DigDug) and Atari (the business that introduced online video video games into arcades). These two businesses wrestled for the selection 1 and two slots in American arcades for quite a few a long time. Other businesses these kinds of as Sega (who later entered the property console current market in opposition to 1980’s rival, Nintendo), Nintendo (whose mascot, Mario, was introduced in 1981’s Donkey Kong), Bally Halfway Production Business (which was later purchased by Williams), Capcom, Cinematronics, Konami, Taito, Williams, and SNK.


Arcades catering to online video video games commenced to get momentum in the late seventies with video games these kinds of as Gee Bee (1978) and Galaxian (1979) and grew to become prevalent in 1980 with Pac-Man, King and Balloon, Tank Battalion, and others. The central processing device in these video games allowed for a lot more complexity than previously discrete circuitry video games these kinds of as Atari’s Pong (1972).

The Golden Age observed builders experimenting with new hardware, these kinds of as creating video games with non-online video engineering these kinds of as vector shows, which made crisp lines as opposed to raster shows. A couple of of these video games grew to become great hits, these kinds of as 1980’s Battlezone and Tempest and 1983’s Star Wars, all from Atari, but vector engineering fell out of favor with arcade game businesses because of to the high cost of fixing vector shows (Vectrex, a property online video game program with a built-in vector exhibit, was produced in 1982).

Developers also experimented with laserdisc players for offering movie-quality animation. The initially game to exploit this engineering, 1983’s Dragon’s Lair from Cinematronics, was a few a long time in the producing. It was a feeling when it was produced (and, in reality, the laserdisc players in a lot of machines broke because of to overuse), but the style dwindled in reputation for the reason that the video games ended up rather linear and depended a lot less on reflexes than on memorizing sequences of moves.

New controls cropped up in a couple of video games, however, arguably, joysticks and buttons remained the favorites for most producers. Atari introduced the trackball with 1978’s Soccer. Evening Driver included a lifestyle-like steering wheel, Paperboy utilised a bicycle handlebar and Hogan’s Alley introduced tethered light-weight guns to the arcade current market. Other specialty controls, these kinds of as pedals in racing video games and a crossbow-shaped light-weight gun in Crossbow, also debuted in this era.


Galaga, a prosperous game of the Golden Age, borrows its theme from Galaxian and adds twists of its have.

With the massive success of the early video games, dozens of builders jumped into the enhancement and manufacturing of online video arcade video games. Some simply just copied the “invading alien hordes” thought of Room Invaders and turned out prosperous imitators like Galaxian, Galaga, and Gaplus, although others tried out new ideas and outlined new genres. Quickly evolving hardware allowed new forms of video games which surpassed the shoot-em-up gameplay of the earliest video games.

Video games these kinds of as Donkey Kong and Qix introduced new forms of video games the place skill and timing are a lot more crucial than capturing as rapidly as attainable. Other illustrations of progressive video games are Atari Games’ Paperboy the place the objective is to productively produce newspapers to shoppers, and Namco’s Phozon the place the item is to duplicate a condition shown in the middle of the display. The theme of Exidy’s Undertaking is dungeon exploration and treasure-accumulating. One progressive game, Q*Bert, performed on the user’s perception of depth perception to produce a novel practical experience.

Some video games of this era ended up so common that they entered the common culture. The release of Pac-Man in 1980 brought on these kinds of a feeling that it initiated what is now referred to as “Pac-Mania” (which later grew to become the title of the final coin-operated game in the collection, produced in 1987). Launched by Namco, the game highlighted a yellow, circle-shaped creature seeking to try to eat dots by means of a maze although averting pursuing enemies. Nevertheless no-1 could agree what the “hero” or enemies represented (in some cases they ended up referred to as ghosts, goblins or monsters), the game was really common there are anecdotes to the effect that some game owners had to vacant the game’s coin bucket each individual hour in order to avert the game’s coin system from jamming from owning too a lot of cash in the receptacle. The game spawned an animated television collection, various clones, Pac-Man-branded meals, and a strike pop music, Pac-Man Fever. Nevertheless a lot of common video games immediately entered the lexicon of common culture, most have due to the fact remaining, and Pac-Man is unusual in remaining a recognized time period in pop culture, together with Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., and Frogger.

The massive reputation of online video arcade video games also led to the extremely initially online video game tactic guides these guides (rare to discover right now) discussed in detail the designs and approaches of just about every game, which includes variants, to a diploma that couple of guides viewed due to the fact can match. “Turning the device more than” by producing the score counter overflow and reset to zero was typically the closing obstacle of a game for individuals who mastered it, and the final impediment to obtaining the greatest score.

Most common video games

Donkey Kong

The video games under ended up some of the most common and influential video games of the era.

Room Invaders




Lunar Lander






Missile Command




Star Castle


Wizard of Wor


Donkey Kong




Ms. Pac-Man




Dig Dug

Donkey Kong Junior


Moon Patrol

Pole Posture


Robotron 2084

Time Pilot





Dragon’s Lair

Elevator Action



Mario Bros.

Spy Hunter

Star Wars






The stop of the era

The Golden Age cooled as copies of common video games commenced to saturate the arcades. Arcades remained commonplace by means of the early nineteen nineties and there ended up nevertheless new genres remaining explored, but most new video games ended up shooters, maze video games, and other variants on old familiar themes.

New generations of property computer systems and property online video game consoles also sapped curiosity from arcades. Earlier consoles, these kinds of as the Atari 2600 and Mattel’s Intellivision, ended up basic-intent and ended up intended to enjoy a variety of video games, and typically could not measure up to online video arcade game hardware, which was built for the singular intent of furnishing a solitary game effectively. In reality, the glut of inadequate-quality property online video game methods contributed in no small way to the online video game crash of 1983.

But the debut of the Nintendo Enjoyment System (1985) commenced to degree the playing area by furnishing a moderately superior online video arcade practical experience at property. In the early to mid nineteen nineties, the Tremendous Nintendo Enjoyment System and the Mega Push (Genesis in North The us) significantly improved property enjoy and some of the engineering was even integrated into a couple of online video arcade machines. By the time of the PlayStation (1995) and the Nintendo 64 (1996), both of which boasted real 3D graphics, a lot of online video game arcades throughout the country had long gone out of business enterprise.[citation essential]

The online video arcade game sector nevertheless exists right now, but in a significantly lowered kind. Video arcade game hardware is typically based on property game consoles to aid porting a online video arcade game to a property program there are online video arcade versions of Dreamcast (NAOMI, Atomiswave), PlayStation 2 (System 246), Nintendo GameCube (Triforce), and Microsoft Xbox (Chihiro) property consoles. Some arcades have survived by expanding into ticket-based prize redemption and a lot more actual physical video games with no property console equal, these kinds of as skee ball and whack-a-mole. Some genres, these kinds of as dancing and rhythm video games (these kinds of as Dance Dance Revolution, section of the Bemani collection) carry on to be common in arcades.

The relative simplicity nevertheless solid gameplay of a lot of of these early video games has impressed a new generation of fans who can enjoy them on cellular phones or with emulators these kinds of as MAME. Some traditional arcade video games are reappearing in business options, these kinds of as Namco’s Ms. Pac-Man 20 Calendar year Reunion / Galaga Class of 1981 two-in-1 game, or integrated right into controller hardware (joysticks) with replaceable flash drives storing game ROMs.


The Golden Age of Video Arcade Video games spawned various cultural icons and even gave some businesses their id. Elements from video games these kinds of as Room Invaders, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Frogger, and Centipede are nevertheless recognized in present-day common culture.

The success of these early online video video games has led a lot of hobbyists who ended up teenagers through the Golden Age to gather some of these traditional video games. Due to the fact couple of have any business price any longer, they can be obtained for US$two hundred to US$750 (however completely restored video games can cost considerably a lot more).

Some fans of these video games have businesses devoted to restoring the traditional video games, and others, these kinds of as Arcade Renovations, which makes copy artwork for traditional arcade video games, target solely on 1 side of the restoration action. Quite a few of these restorers have established up web-sites full of tips and information on restoring video games to mint affliction. There are also quite a few newsgroups devoted to discussion all around these video games, and a couple of conventions, these kinds of as California Severe, focused to traditional arcade gaming.

See also

Arcade cupboard

List of online video arcade video games

List of online video game consoles


^ Day, Walter (1998-02-08). “Chapter 01 – The Golden Age of Video Game Arcades”. The Golden Age of Video Game Arcades. Twin Galaxies. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 

^ Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Best Heritage of Video Video games: From Pong to Pokmon. A few Rivers Push. ISBN 0761536434. 

^ Day, Walter (1998-02-08). “Chapter 13 – The Golden Age Finishes”. The Golden Age of Video Game Arcades. Twin Galaxies. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 

^ Top a hundred Videogames listing from Killer List of Videogames

^ “Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga  Class Of 1981”. KLOV. Retrieved 2006-09-10. 

^ “California Severe”. California Severe. Retrieved 2006-11-24. 

The Official Price Guide to Classic Video Video games by David Ellis (2004), ISBN -375-72038-three

External inbound links

Hear to this posting (information/dl)

This audio file was established from a revision dated 2005-09-19, and does not replicate subsequent edits to the posting. (Audio assist)

A lot more spoken article content

The KLOV Top Video Video games Lists by Greg McLemore and good friends

The Heritage of Video Video games – Pictures & Movies

Reference to the time period ‘Golden Age’

The Dot Eaters, Videogame Heritage a hundred and one

Categories: Heritage of online video video games | Arcade gamesHidden groups: All article content with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from September 2007 | Articles with unsourced statements from November 2008 | Spoken article content

Close Menu