Arcades have been around for a long time, but how long? How have arcade games changed over time?
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Arcade gaming has a long, extensive history, dating as far as 1909, when Skee ball was created by J.D. Estes company in Philadelphia. These original Skee-Ball Alleys were much longer, measuring at 36 feet long, and require more strength to play. By 1928, the size of the alley was reduced to try to draw in a more diverse crowd of players. The first coin-operated machine was designed in 1931 in Chicago, known as Baffle Ball. Back in those days, coin-op machines were classified under gambling, and were banned or heavily regulated in most states.
Pinball machines first entered the scene in 1933, and were referred to mostly as a game of chance, being banned in some place, specifically New York City. In the late '40s, they were redesigned to include flippers to hit the ball with so that they became more of a game of skill, and therefore more family friendly.
Video games became a huge innovation in 1971, when the first coin-operated video game was installed at Stanford University under the name Galaxy Game.In 1972, Pong was released by Atari, becoming the first ever commercially successful coin-op video game. From 1972 to 1984, 15 different companies developed newer and more innovative video games, including Space Invaders in 1978, which would be one of the most popular games of all time.
Between 1978 and 1982, the Golden Age of arcade gaming, many huge titles were released, including Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Frogger, and Tron. However, by 1983, too many similar games had flooded the market, and a moral fight against video games was being waged by concerned parents. In the late '80s, the focus turned more heavily to home gaming consoles, such as the Nintendo Entertainment System.
In 1991, Capcom released Street Fighter II, which gave a second wind to the arcade industry, and introduced many fighting style games such as Mortal Kombat and Virtua Fighter. In 1999, Konami released Dance Dance Revolution, which was a huge financial success.
In Japan, arcades are still an enormous part of the culture, being even more popular than home gaming consoles. Heading towards the future, arcade games are available on newer and different formats, such Xbox Live arcade, and most iPads, iPhones, and Androids.
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