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"Golden age" of arcade games? #18709 08/11/04 03:02 AM
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Brian Kendig Offline OP
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I want to get some more opinions on a topic that's being debated over on Wikipedia:

(1) What time period would you say is the Golden Age of arcade games?

(2) Is it the "Golden Age of Arcade Games" or the "golden age of arcade games"?

The article is here and the discussion is here . I hold that the "golden age" is the early 80s, like 1980 through 1983. Others are saying that the "golden age" started with Space Invaders and continued through the 1990s until the PlayStation stole the spotlight. I want to get some more knowledgeable opinions on this.

Re: "Golden age" of arcade games? #18710 08/11/04 03:52 AM
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DaveD Offline
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I'd have to say your timeframe is probably right on the money. While games like Space Invaders and Asteroids came out in the 70's, they were really more part of the overall buildup and an example of what the technology could do.

The crash officially happened in 1982. But to a kid who was totally engulfed by the scene back then, 1982 wasn't the end. It was more of the peak and it took a year or two for things to cool off. Considering that laser disc games and quite a few important classics weren't around in 1982, I'd stretch it easily to 1983 if not early '84. For my money the last real "classic arcade game" was Tetris, released in 1986. But I think it just prolonged the inevitable death which was already in progress.

Re: "Golden age" of arcade games? #18711 08/11/04 04:55 AM
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I'd say from Asteroids & Space Invaders to mid 1980s. Late 80s is when consoles began to take off. I think Pac Man was probably the pinnacle of the Golden Age in terms of popularity during that time.

Re: "Golden age" of arcade games? #18712 08/11/04 07:34 AM
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Nathan Strum Offline
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I agree with '80 - '83.

'79 is a bit of a stretch. Although if you consider some of the games that came out in '79: Asterioids, Lunar Lander, Rip Off, Galaxian, Star Fire, Tailgunner, I think you could make a case that the Golden Age of Arcade Games (or GAAG) might have begun mid-year, although it really wasn't in full swing until '80. However, games that were released in '80 were being developed in '79, so there was certainly enough upswing in arcade business to merit the sort of development effort that was going on.

I was already going to a pretty large arcade as early as '79, since I distinctly remember when Asteroids first showed up. But '80 is when it hit big everywhere, and arcades began popping up all over the place. That's when it went mainstream.

The crash happened in '83 (not '82). (Click here , then on '83, and scroll down to the "Fiscal Financials" section. Compare that with '82.) So that could be considered the end of it, even though the year started out well, since everybody was still swimming in money, and unveiling tons of new stuff at CES in January '83.

I'd like to include '84 just because of Marble Madness, Paperboy and the Nintendo VS. system. But arcades were firmly in the dumper by that point. Also, July of '84 is when Atari was destroyed by Jack Tramiel. So if there was any of the GAAG left in '84, it was gone by Summer.


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Re: "Golden age" of arcade games? #18713 08/11/04 08:03 PM
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Marchalis Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveD:
While games like Space Invaders and Asteroids came out in the 70's, they were really more part of the overall buildup and an example of what the technology could do.
I agree with this statement. Judging from the hits that came one after the other in '80 after the introduction of those in '79 such as Asteroids DeLuxe, Lunar Lander, etc. Electronic Games magazine labelled Pac Man as the most popular game -to paraphrase their words- of all time, cutting across gender as well as for other reasons that were probably justified *at the time*. While I don't fancy Pac Man and it's family, I think I do agree with EGM's opinion - the polls and reports across the Globe didn't lie.
To tie all this in with the original point, given the time Pac Man & Ms. Pac Man came out as well as other certified classics of the same period,(80, 81) I'd have to say that in my opinion, 1981 would have been the Golden Age of Video Games.

And Nathan is correct. While there were MAJOR shakeouts in '82, the *IMPACT* of these shakeouts occurred in '83. The industry served a few years in the wilderness before Nintendo spearheaded its resurrection circa '86 or so...

Re: "Golden age" of arcade games? #18714 08/11/04 11:49 PM
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vitaflo Offline
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80-83 is what I thought before I even read your post, so I'm glad most agree. I'm not sure who said early 70's through mid 90's. There's no way you can count 84-85 as anything good pertaining to gaming. In fact, I'd say 84-85 was gaming's great depression.

Re: "Golden age" of arcade games? #18715 08/12/04 05:20 AM
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Voonplatz Offline
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If you were to take the topic of "video games" (not just coin-op video games) I would say the golden age would be 1977-1983. Silver age would be when ever the NES came out until when ever it was when the SNES started having too many inane movie licenced platform games (I refer you to Beethoven\'s 2nd ). Anything before 1977 will be known as the dark ages.

Re: "Golden age" of arcade games? #18716 08/12/04 07:13 AM
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Nathan Strum Offline
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Actually, I prefer "bronze" age for the pre-1977 period. The dark ages happened in '84 - '86.

I think we're in the tin foil age now.


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Re: "Golden age" of arcade games? #18717 08/12/04 06:06 PM
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Marchalis Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
Actually, I prefer "bronze" age for the pre-1977 period. The dark ages happened in '84 - '86.

I think we're in the tin foil age now.
HEAR! HEAR!

Re: "Golden age" of arcade games? #18718 08/13/04 01:22 AM
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Voonplatz Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
I think we're in the tin foil age now.
word

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