Arcade’s impact on American society
They are still commonly visited In the American youth, but It Is a dying Industry. Arcades have sparked the gaming industry and without them we would not have any ASS or Shoebox or any game console. There would be no “gamers” or “try-hard”. With computer game industry moving slow it was time for something new. Thus the arcade, a place where many different game developers were able to place their products and kids would come In and pay to play them. Arcades have changed American culture for the better.
It has sparked the creation of digital games, influenced at home gaming, created a new environment for gamers. Titles such as Space Invaders (1978), Asteroids (1979), Pack-Man (1980), Forger 1 981 ) Centipede (1981), and Donkey Kong(1981) Flooded arcades nation wide One NP). These Games sparked the creation of many other games and even have influences on games designed today. These games sold over $500 million in sales in 1980 and generated over $3. 8 billion from uses. Popular games made almost $40-$80 a day each. Boson NP) This huge growing Industry all started with one single video game. “Computer Space”. It was the second arcade game ever released. It was
Monaco, Atari, Midway, Nintendo, Stern Electronics, Williams Electronics, Total, and many more companies nation wide. These companies began to produce games left and right, over 50 games came out a year. The origins of these popular games go way back, the most known origin of arcade Ames is the original pinball arcade game. The Pinball machine. Invented in 1930 the pinball machine derived from a game dating back to the 19th century called Bagatelle. These games were placed In penny arcades and were the first to collect change and make a profit.
The first Pinball games were designed to not only to test your luck but also your skill. They were soon outlawed after slot machine companies took advantage of the games and started using them to make a strong profit. Gambling was illegal In some states such as New York causing legal Issues between companies and was eventually outlawed. It wasn’t until 1950 that Pinball games were legal again and once they were they popped up in arcades, shopping centers, diners, ‘OFF As more arcade games came out more arcades opened.
Popular games began to pop up all over the place, and started to make massive profit. Kids began to go to arcades every day and spend countless quarters on popular titles. Arcades took thousands of dollars to stop and with games making over $300 a week it didn’t take too long to pay off but with maintenance sometimes it was hard to keep up with all the bills. Games like Pack-Man sold over 350,000 units in the sass’s making companies such as Monaco billions. (Champagne NP)Game companies began hosting competitions to raise awareness of their new and not yet released games.
The idea of competitive nature made games even more profitable and raised awareness of arcades. As technology got more advanced so did games making them more expensive. Larger and stronger processors were invented and arcades began to become obsolete. Home consoles and Hand-held games began to began more popular. Arcades became more and more popular till there were more then 13,000 arcades in the US. Arcades sparked the creation of at home gaming consoles. Many ideas for new arcade games went to console games or PC games (Boson). 9% of homes in America have a gaming console in them. Companies such as Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony continue to be the leaders in console and game sales today. But these consoles had to start somewhere. Magneto Created the first at home console in 1972 called The Odyssey. It was priced around $100. Followed by The Odyssey was Attar’s Pong in 1975 priced at $100. Collect released the Telltales in 1976 for $50, and Nintendo created the Color in 1977 and released it for $100. (Paulson NP) The first generation of consoles were all very simple and alike.
Consoles were not yet popular for they were not nearly as powerful as arcade games still. With games such as Pack-Man, the most successful game of all time, selling well over 300,000 units. (Champagne NP) Games started to became part of culture. (Williams NP) The Atari was created in 1971 by Nolan Bushnell (creator of “Computer Space”). Bushnell sold his ideas for “Computer Space” to Uniting Associates, they then sold 1 500 Coin operated “Computer Space” games. Bushnell, who was unhappy with the results, paired up with Atari and together they created Pong. They sold 150,000 play test.
In 1975 he created an at home version of Pong that hooks up to your TV. Bushnell and Atari sold over 100,000 units. (While NP) This changed the social contrast of arcades and interested adults and females. The game was one of the first peaceful games ever released and sparked companies such as Nintendo to release peaceful games. With new genres of games rapidly coming out, games such as Dig-Dug, Ms. Pack-Man, Penguin, and Mr.. Do attracted kids from all ages and genders to come out to arcades, the new relaxed themes and large color ranges created a more relaxing setting One NP).
Then the second generation of consoles was released in the early ass’s and were even more powerful. Many consoles began to run arcade games and the attraction of playing at home took a lot of customers away from arcades, but to some “the arcade experience is the ultimate gaming experience”raves NP). In the ass’s another wave of consoles hit and arcade games became almost completely obsolete. Developers began to produce more games but they became so expensive the it was hard to keep a steady profit. A revolution began when Sonoma released Dance Dance Revolution sparking a new type of arcade games.
Once again children began to visit an experience impossible to replicate at home. Games involving lifelike simulations began to flood arcades and once again children returned. Console designers began to add old arcade games to their consoles to let their players relive the past and get that nostalgic feeling of playing Pack-man and Pong. Console sales skyrocketed and companies like Nintendo and Atari made very high profit from their new consoles. The environment in arcade was like no other. They were normally in dark rooms with kids running around, there were lots of video games everywhere.
There were no food or booze vendors except for maybe a small vending machine” (Boson NP). Many pinball games and other cabinets surrounded the walls. They were normally very noisy due to kids and the games. The greatest quality of this new environment was that it was all kids from all classes combined into one room, and they all had one thing in common, they all loved video games. There were younger kids hanging with older kids and poor kids hanging with rich kids. Many moms feared “Middle-class parents worried that their children might rub shoulders with the down-and-out crowd. Sumo NP) but as arcades moved into malls the fear was weakened. Most parents saw arcades in malls as free daycare so there were no moms or dads hanging around, Just kids with no age restrictions at all. The arcade was looked at as a sanctuary for those who enjoy gaming. Arcade games are still in use today, some games that are almost 35 years old are still being bought and played daily. Pack-Man is one of the most iconic video game characters in the world, the game still has shirts and other merchandise still being made about it, it even has its own TV show on Cartoon Network.
Systems like OXBOW 360 have these nostalgic games available for digital download for very cheap through their stores making sure these games will never die out. Arcades have made more of an impact on American culture than many other fads and hobbies. Arcades provided a new type of people, gamers, and started a revolution and the nations most common form of past time in America. In the golden age of arcade in the early sass arcades were visited more often than movie theaters, bowling alleys, and skating rinks. They provided the first merchandising of games such as shirts, book bags, lunch boxes, sheets, and other type of material odds.
There were songs and TV shows created about games and started a new type of people as a whole. The game industry is one of the biggest in the world with Sony grossing over $887 million in profit from Just Plantation consoles in a year (Miller NP). Gaming is responsible in both positive and negative influences on a child’s brain and is one of the most argued topics in the US recently. Arcades have sparked the creation of digital games, influenced at home gaming, created a new environment for gamers for the better. Without arcades our lives would be 100% different and not nearly as exciting.