Arcade Games

Arcade games are coin-operated entertainment machines which are commonly installed in public business centers, such as bars, restaurants and especially amusement arcades. Most of the arcade games can be classified as video games, electro-mechanical and redemption games, pinball machines, and merchandisers like claw cranes.

The decades from late 1970s to the 1980s are known as Golden Age of the arcade video games. While many arcade games still enjoyed relative popularity during 1990s, this form of entertainment media saw a general decline in popularity throughout the Western world. This was mainly due to the fact that most video game consoles were converted to 3D from 2D. Arcade video games still enjoy considerable popularity in Asian countries despite the technological advancement made in the gaming world.

Arcade Games Photo Many games that are released nowadays are designed for PC or XBLA platforms but have a rather classic arcade game-like look. Along with the well-known classic arcade games of yesteryears, these modern games are also described as "arcade games" as they replicate the look of the classic arcade games.

History of Arcade Games

The earliest examples of well-known "arcade games" were the early amusement park games such as ball toss games, shooting galleries as well as the earliest-known coin-operated machines that played music or told a person's fortune. These old midway games of earliest amusement parks later became the inspiration for the modern arcade games.

The earliest pinball machines that were operated by coins were developed during the 1930s. These earlier machines were distinct in many ways from the later electronic ones as they were constructed out of wood, lacked plungers or any bonus areas on the gaming field, and employed mechanical score reading systems instead of the electronic scoring readouts. Most pinball machines started using electronic operation and scoring systems by around 1977.

Technology of Arcade Games

Most of the modern arcade video games extensively use integrated circuits and solid state electronics; some notable exceptions are the traditional midway-like games that are played at county fairs. During the past, arcade video games operated by coins mostly used customized per- game hardware frequently with several CPUs, highly dedicated graphics and sound chips, as well as the latest innovations in computer graphical display technology. Modern-day arcade gaming hardware is mostly based on the modified videogame console hardware or numerous high-end PC components.

More often than not, arcade games are comprised of more realistic and immersive game controls than console or PC games, including many specialized ambiance and control accessories, such as dynamic fully enclosed cabinets having force feedback controls, rear-projection displays, dedicated lightguns, faithful reproductions of airplane or automobile cockpits, motorcycle and horse-shaped controllers, and highly dedicated controllers like fishing rods and dancing mats. These innovative accessories differentiate the modern video games from the classic arcade games of yesteryears.