For the duration of the late 1970s, video arcade game engineering experienced turn into sophisticated enough to give fantastic-top quality graphics and appears, but it was nonetheless quite primary (realistic pictures and entire motion video were not nonetheless accessible, and only a few video games applied spoken voice) and so the achievements of a game experienced to depend on basic and exciting gameplay. This emphasis on the gameplay is why a lot of of these video games keep on to be relished right now even with acquiring been vastly out-of-date by fashionable computing engineering.


The Golden Age was a time of wonderful complex and layout creativeness in arcade video games. Video games were designed in a vast selection of genres whilst developers experienced to do the job in just demanding limits of accessible processor electric power and memory. The period also noticed the swift unfold of video arcades across North America, Europe and Japan.

At this time, video arcade video games started to show up in supermarkets, eating places, liquor merchants, gas stations and a lot of other retail institutions seeking for further earnings. Preferred video games once in a while induced a crush of young adults, keen to try the most up-to-date amusement entry.[citation essential]

The two most prosperous arcade game corporations of this period Namco (the Japanese firm that produced Pac-Man, Pole Place, and DigDug) and Atari (the firm that released video video games into arcades). These two corporations wrestled for the variety a person and two slots in American arcades for various a long time. Other corporations this kind of as Sega (who later on entered the house console market place in opposition to 1980’s rival, Nintendo), Nintendo (whose mascot, Mario, was released in 1981’s Donkey Kong), Bally Halfway Production Corporation (which was later on purchased by Williams), Capcom, Cinematronics, Konami, Taito, Williams, and SNK.


Arcades catering to video video games started to obtain momentum in the late 1970s with video games this kind of as Gee Bee (1978) and Galaxian (1979) and became prevalent in 1980 with Pac-Man, King and Balloon, Tank Battalion, and some others. The central processing device in these video games authorized for much more complexity than before discrete circuitry video games this kind of as Atari’s Pong (1972).

The Golden Age noticed developers experimenting with new hardware, this kind of as making video games with non-video engineering this kind of as vector shows, which made crisp lines as opposed to raster shows. A few of these video games became wonderful hits, this kind 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 corporations because of to the significant price of repairing vector shows (Vectrex, a house video game technique with a constructed-in vector show, was released in 1982).

Builders also experimented with laserdisc gamers for providing movie-top quality animation. The first game to exploit this engineering, 1983’s Dragon’s Lair from Cinematronics, was a few a long time in the building. It was a sensation when it was released (and, in actuality, the laserdisc gamers in a lot of devices broke because of to overuse), but the genre dwindled in attractiveness due to the fact the video games were quite linear and depended less on reflexes than on memorizing sequences of moves.

New controls cropped up in a few video games, even though, arguably, joysticks and buttons remained the favorites for most brands. Atari released the trackball with 1978’s Football. Night Driver involved a everyday living-like steering wheel, Paperboy applied a bicycle handlebar and Hogan’s Alley released tethered light guns to the arcade market place. Other specialty controls, this kind of as pedals in racing video games and a crossbow-formed light gun in Crossbow, also debuted in this period.


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

With the monumental achievements of the early video games, dozens of developers jumped into the progress and production of video arcade video games. Some only copied the “invading alien hordes” concept of Space Invaders and turned out prosperous imitators like Galaxian, Galaga, and Gaplus, whilst some others tried out new concepts and defined new genres. Speedily evolving hardware authorized new sorts of video games which surpassed the shoot-em-up gameplay of the earliest video games.

Video games this kind of as Donkey Kong and Qix released new varieties of video games wherever ability and timing are much more crucial than taking pictures as quick as doable. Other illustrations of ground breaking video games are Atari Games’ Paperboy wherever the intention is to efficiently produce newspapers to shoppers, and Namco’s Phozon wherever the item is to copy a shape proven in the center of the display screen. The theme of Exidy’s Enterprise is dungeon exploration and treasure-accumulating. 1 ground breaking game, Q*Bert, performed on the user’s perception of depth notion to produce a novel working experience.

Some video games of this period were so well known that they entered the well known tradition. The release of Pac-Man in 1980 induced this kind of a sensation that it initiated what is now referred to as “Pac-Mania” (which later on became the title of the past coin-operated game in the sequence, released in 1987). Produced by Namco, the game highlighted a yellow, circle-formed creature attempting to consume dots as a result of a maze whilst averting pursuing enemies. Even though no-a person could concur what the “hero” or enemies represented (sometimes they were referred to as ghosts, goblins or monsters), the game was incredibly well known there are anecdotes to the effect that some game house owners experienced to vacant the game’s coin bucket just about every hour in buy to avoid the game’s coin system from jamming from acquiring much too a lot of coins in the receptacle. The game spawned an animated tv sequence, many clones, Pac-Man-branded foods, and a hit pop track, Pac-Man Fever. Even though a lot of well known video games speedily entered the lexicon of well known tradition, most have given that still left, and Pac-Man is unusual in remaining a regarded term in pop tradition, alongside with Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., and Frogger.

The monumental attractiveness of video arcade video games also led to the extremely first video game technique guides these guides (exceptional to discover right now) talked about in element the styles and tactics of just about every game, like variants, to a degree that few guides found given that can match. “Turning the device in excess of” by building the score counter overflow and reset to zero was generally the ultimate challenge of a game for those who mastered it, and the past obstacle to obtaining the maximum score.

Most well known video games

Donkey Kong

The video games down below were some of the most well known and influential video games of the period.

Space Invaders




Lunar Lander






Missile Command




Star Castle


Wizard of Wor


Donkey Kong




Ms. Pac-Man




Dig Dug

Donkey Kong Junior


Moon Patrol

Pole Place


Robotron 2084

Time Pilot





Dragon’s Lair

Elevator Motion



Mario Bros.

Spy Hunter

Star Wars






The close of the period

The Golden Age cooled as copies of well known video games started to saturate the arcades. Arcades remained commonplace as a result of the early 1990s and there were nonetheless new genres getting explored, but most new video games were shooters, maze video games, and other variants on old familiar themes.

New generations of house desktops and house video game consoles also sapped curiosity from arcades. Earlier consoles, this kind of as the Atari 2600 and Mattel’s Intellivision, were typical-intent and were meant to enjoy a selection of video games, and generally could not measure up to video arcade game hardware, which was constructed for the singular intent of supplying a solitary game properly. In actuality, the glut of very poor-top quality house video game devices contributed in no tiny way to the video game crash of 1983.

But the debut of the Nintendo Amusement Process (1985) started to stage the taking part in discipline by supplying a moderately fantastic video arcade working experience at house. In the early to mid 1990s, the Super Nintendo Amusement Process and the Mega Push (Genesis in North America) enormously enhanced house enjoy and some of the engineering was even integrated into a few video arcade devices. By the time of the PlayStation (1995) and the Nintendo 64 (1996), each of which boasted genuine 3D graphics, a lot of video game arcades across the place experienced absent out of small business.[citation essential]

The video arcade game industry nonetheless exists right now, but in a enormously diminished variety. Movie arcade game hardware is generally based on house game consoles to aid porting a video arcade game to a house technique there are video arcade versions of Dreamcast (NAOMI, Atomiswave), PlayStation 2 (Process 246), Nintendo GameCube (Triforce), and Microsoft Xbox (Chihiro) house consoles. Some arcades have survived by expanding into ticket-based prize redemption and much more bodily video games with no house console equal, this kind of as skee ball and whack-a-mole. Some genres, this kind of as dancing and rhythm video games (this kind of as Dance Dance Revolution, aspect of the Bemani sequence) keep on to be well known in arcades.

The relative simplicity nonetheless reliable gameplay of a lot of of these early video games has motivated a new generation of lovers who can enjoy them on cellular phones or with emulators this kind of as MAME. Some common arcade video games are reappearing in business configurations, this kind of as Namco’s Ms. Pac-Man twenty Year Reunion / Galaga Class of 1981 two-in-a person game, or integrated directly into controller hardware (joysticks) with replaceable flash drives storing game ROMs.


The Golden Age of Movie Arcade Video games spawned many cultural icons and even gave some corporations their identity. Elements from video games this kind of as Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Frogger, and Centipede are nonetheless regarded in modern well known tradition.

The achievements of these early video video games has led a lot of hobbyists who were young adults during the Golden Age to acquire some of these common video games. Given that few have any business value any more time, they can be acquired for US$200 to US$750 (even though totally restored video games can price a lot much more).

Some lovers of these video games have corporations devoted to restoring the common video games, and some others, this kind of as Arcade Renovations, which provides reproduction art for common arcade video games, concentrate only on a person side of the restoration action. Many of these restorers have established up internet sites entire of recommendations and tips on restoring video games to mint problem. There are also various newsgroups devoted to dialogue all over these video games, and a few conventions, this kind of as California Excessive, devoted to common arcade gaming.

See also

Arcade cupboard

List of video arcade video games

List of video game consoles


^ Working day, Walter (1998-02-08). “Chapter 01 – The Golden Age of Movie Game Arcades”. The Golden Age of Movie Game Arcades. Twin Galaxies. http://www.twingalaxies.com/index.aspx?c=seventeen&id=620. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 

^ Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Final Record of Movie Video games: From Pong to Pokmon. 3 Rivers Press. ISBN 0761536434. 

^ Working day, Walter (1998-02-08). “Chapter 13 – The Golden Age Finishes”. The Golden Age of Movie Game Arcades. Twin Galaxies. http://www.twingalaxies.com/index.aspx?c=seventeen&id=1327. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 

^ Leading one hundred Videogames listing from Killer List of Videogames

^ “Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga  Class Of 1981”. KLOV. http://www.klov.com/game_element.php?game_id=8784. Retrieved 2006-09-10. 

^ “California Excessive”. California Excessive. http://www.caextreme.org. Retrieved 2006-11-24. 

The Official Rate Manual to Basic Movie Video games by David Ellis (2004), ISBN -375-72038-3

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