The Good Old Arcade Game: History And Development

Gaming is already a part of our lifestyle. Starting in childhood, once we see moving images of gaming characters, we have the curiosity to try controlling it. It lasts until our teenage and adult years; we consider gaming as one of the entertainment alternatives when we are feeling bored.

Different genres of games are starting to pop up such as online strategy and role-playing games. But do you still remember the good old arcade games? That Pac-man eating yellow dots and Mario and Luigi consuming mushrooms and flowers to rescue the princess from King Koopa? These games are considered to be the ancestors of the games that you play today on your computer or videogame station.

History Reminisced

Old arcade games started after World War II, after Ralph Bauer invented the perception of creating an electronic game system to the television screen during the early 1950’s. When he presented his ideas to Magnavox, a television company during that time, it was approved and resulted in the release of a refined version of Bauer’s Brown Box prototype, which is known as the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972.

It displays only spots of light on the computer screen and it requires the use of translucent plastic overlays to reproduce the appearance of the game. In other words, this gaming version is prehistoric compared to present gaming standards.

The first gaming console system that was invented is known as the Atari 2600, which was released in 1977. It used plug-in cartridges in order to play different games.

After the release of Atari 2600, old arcade games started their Golden Age in the gaming industry. This is considered to be the era when the popularity of such games increased drastically. It began in the late 1979 when the first colored arcade game appeared.

Old arcade games started to gain their momentum in the gaming industry during the release of the following:

• Gee Bee and Space Invaders in 1978
• Galaxian in 1979
• Pac-man, King and Balloon, Tank Battalion, and others in 1980

During this era, arcade game developers began experimenting with new hardware, developing games, which used the lines of vector displays as opposed to the standard raster displays. Few arcade games derived from these principle, which became a hit including the Battlezone (1980) and the Star Wars (1983), which are all from Atari.

After the vector displays, arcade game developers were experimenting with the laser-disc players for delivering animations like in the movies. The first attempt is the Dragon Lair (1983) by Cinematronics. It became a sensation when it was released (there are instances that the laser-disc players in many machines malfunctioned due to overuse).

New controls were also cropped up in few games, although joysticks and buttons are still the arcade game standard controls. Atari released the Football in 1978 which used the trackball. The Spy Hunter introduced a steering wheel with resemblance to an actual one, and the Hogan’s alley made use of tethered light guns.

Other specialty controls like the pedals in racing games and a crossbow-shaped gun in Crossbow were also developed in this era.

Now, with the enthusiasm of modern game developers, they tried to revive this old arcade games by means of enhancing its graphics and producing newer versions. This manifestation only shows that good old arcade games are still a great alternative to modern computer games.

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