History of Arcade Games
In the seventies, one of the major players Atari, which was started by Ted Dabney dominated the arcade games industry. With good marketing and the sheer addictive nature of these games, - including The Pacman series, Donkey Kong, Pong and Space Invaders - many video arcade game machines sprouted up all over cities especially popular social hangouts such as bars, college campuses, supermarkets, movie theaters and gambling houses. In fact, te presence of these machines in seedier places rather led to a dip in its popularity as increasing people perception of it changed. The advanced gaming console technology also added to the decline in the popularity of these slot machines.
A business just offering arcade games to people, could well make a tidy profit, the decline is such that many of such businesses have had to re-think and offer a variety of attractions in order to keep their visitors coming for more. The hard facts now is that many such dedicated arcade amusement centers have since closed down. If not, evolved so thoroughly it is hard to remember what they once were. Even if there exist such venues, they are generally visited by hobbyists whose passion for tradition has not waned.
Playing arcade games is now even easier. With most dedicated venues closed due to advances in the gaming console technology and the internet, you do not need to uproot yourself and find a physical venue. If you are into gaming consoles, all you need is to buy or rent your game and enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. On the other hand, if you wish to play free arcade games with a bit of social interaction, you can choose from many internet gaming platforms where you can play as well as chat or interact with other game lovers in the forums.
In spite of the many milestones arcade games have come, the basic essence of the "arcade" is still present in most modern games. Most arcade games offer the gamer different levels of play, starting with the easiest. Once that level has been mastered or maximum points have been scored, you are allowed to move to the next level. Each higher level is progressively more difficult. You stay in the game if you stay "alive" or your "virtual" tokens get finished. Obviously, physical tokens are not needed for online arcade games but the general theme is always present. Newer games such as Street Fighter I and King Fighters offer a two player game mode which futher draws the game lover.
Arcade games have survived, mainly because they are so addictive and they offer a good recreation time for kid, teens and adults alike and they are likely to be with us for a long time to come.
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By Jake Jenkins, Games enthusiast
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