Arcade games are coin operated electronic machines that can often be found in family restaurants, hotel game rooms, and other public places. They’ve been around since the early twenties and are either one of three types. Redemption games, which rewards the player with coins or tickets, merchandisers, machines filled with small toys and other prizes, and video games, for which the only reward is being memorialized on the high score screen.
These type of games have historically featured simple controls, and very short levels which rapidly increase in difficulty. This is because of the atmosphere that they are traditionally found in. In the crowded hotel and mall game rooms, players are essentially renting the particular arcade game they are playing. The short and difficult levels ensures that the user either leaves the machine and gives someone else a chance to play or pumps more quarters in to extend their own.
The very first arcade type games could be found on amusement park midways of the 1920s. These included carnival type shooting games and coin operated fortune tellers. In the early thirties, these devices were joined by the highly popular electronic pinball machines. Unlike their predecessors, these games were made out of wood and featured mechanized scoring.
In 1966, a company called Sega introduced the first electro-mechanical arcade game. It was a submarine simulator and featured a gun shaped controller and colorful lights and sounds. It cost one quarter to play and quickly became a huge sensation in North America and Japan. A few years later the same gaming company released a new one based on combat flight simulators. It consisted of a more advanced gun, moving targets, and was the first arcade game to feature a joystick.
The world’s first coin operated game was invented and built by a group of students at Stanford University. It was called the Galaxy Game and was a based on a similar computer game called Spacewar. The first mass produced arcade game was released to the public just a few months later.
In 1972 the electronic and gaming corporation, Atari, was formed and revitalized the video gaming industry with their state of the art ping pong game. The product’s incredible success sparked waves of imitations from competing brands and, in the mid seventies, the various games began springing up in malls and restaurants all over the country.
It was around this time in which the golden age of video arcade games took place. By then, video and gaming technology was so sophisticated that just about every electronics company was able to saturate the market with games featuring high quality graphics and sounds. Although, products that came out in later years were much more advanced, it is always the games from this era that are the most collected and prized.
By the mid eighties, the device’s popularity began to decline as they competed with home consoles. The video arcades were no longer the most advanced gaming systems and most consumers found renting a game to be mu