Today, millions of people from all over the world participate in a competitive game industry every year. The rise of e-sports has contributed to this trend, and people are starting to take it seriously.
At any championship game, there are sometimes hundreds of thousands of prize money waiting to be handed out, teams of expressionless players shouting orders into headphone microphones and frantically pressing buttons, while hordes of fans cheer them on. This is a new millennium spectator sport.
But this is not a modern phenomenon. Competitive games can be traced back to the earliest arcade games. It is here that friends will watch other friends cram their rooms into Galaga, Donkey Kong, and PacMan video games to go head-to-head with other amateurs. So what turned a typical video arcade into a cathedral for wayward youth? Here are some reasons why arcade games have stood the test of time.
1.Arcade machines appear at the intersection of technology and culture
By the late 1970s, a replacement for the pinball machine was ready. After all, these spring launchers have been around in some form since the 18th century. The advent of space invaders and vector display technology allowed video game images to be rendered in a softly glowing grid. The 1970s also saw the rise of personal computers, and arcade games brought the young generation the digital entertainment they had come to expect — a leap from the drab board games of yesteryear. Films such as Pac-man and Donkey Kong have also fuelled this popularity, generating billions of dollars each.
In fact, this age of gaming is so compelling that it is now known as the “golden age of arcades.” Experts put the period between 1978 and 1983. By 1981, the popularity of arcade machines had reached $7 billion a year, and that was just from quarterly revenues. By 1982, there were 400,000 commercial arcades and 1.5 million arcades in North America.
2.Arcade with the development of technology and development
In the 1970s, children might have flocked to these new video game centers, and the old-timers might have seen Space Invaders as a flash in the pan. But over time, advances in technology have led to new games with better graphics and more comprehensive gameplay. Also, the hardware can always be installed in a vertical cabinet with the name of the game printed on it.
Of course, advances in technology have almost accelerated the decline of the arcade. With the popularity of home game consoles, children can no longer play video games without stuffing a quarter of a coin into a cupboard. But even as players bounce around playing Super Mario on their home TV screens, amusement parks exist, and they offer features that home consoles don’t. In other words, without parents, children can compete with complete strangers. So although experts had written the arcade’s obituary in the late 1980s, they had no idea that the landscape was about to be revived.
3. Arcades crossed generations
For the children of the 1970s, the pilgrimage to the local indoor playground was a rite of passage, just as it was for the children of the 1980s. So did the new generation in the 1990s. Even with so many home and handheld gaming systems, a good arcade is still a place. The reasons for this popularity are simple, including vigilantes dressed in karate gis and a power-filled man/monster from Brazil. Fighting games like “shuanglong” and “street fighter II” are all the rage, getting kids off the couch, out of the house and thronging through the arcade doors. Their motivation remains as powerful as it was in the late 1970s: people can ignite their own competition and test their skills in front of other players they have never met.
But the classic arcade has barely disappeared. A dedicated niche community of retro players helps keep the scene alive. The classic arcade competition is held every year and attracts people from all over the world. They may not be able to compete with the huge audiences that e-sports events attract, but they are still a testament to the appeal of community games and a touchstone of nostalgia for an earlier, more innocent time when games were just beginning to go electronic and the future was bright.