Death of the Arcades

NeoGeo Arcade MachineMany things have changed for gaming over the past thirty or so years. Consoles and computers have become infinitely more powerful, games have moved on from using a long rectangle to bat a square across a white line, to games with life-like visuals and epic story-lines that I suspect fairly soon there’ll be Oscar categories for. However, one change in video gaming that has gone relatively unnoticed is the sad and fairly quiet demise of the video game arcades.

When I was younger, about twenty or so years younger actually, consoles and computer games were stuck with a very small amount of colours, and were loaded by way of a tape or if you were lucky a cartridge. However, if you wanted any more than this then you needed to find your nearest video-game arcade.

Video Game Arcades were filled with coin-operated arcade machines that sported games that home gamers could only dream of. Not only were the games better and brighter, but they even had new and interesting controllers. There were racing games that had steering wheel controllers, and games like Operation Wolf that had machine guns as controllers. True, you had to insert money to play them, but the games you got to play were more than worth it for the time.

Then consoles and home computers started to become a lot more powerful and the games being developed on them soon overtook the games that were available in the arcades. After all, if you can buy a game for your home computer that is equal or better to a game in an arcade, it makes a lot more sense to buy the game and own it, than to endlessly pump money into an arcade machine to play the same thing.

So little by little video game arcades became a thing of the past, and although the building itself may have stayed, the video games inside were replaced with slot machines and casino games. After all, at that time the casino experience and the chance to real money couldn’t be easily replicated at home. Casino games are a lot more fun when there is the chance to win money.

But as the fate of video gaming arcades continues to change and develop, what does the future have in store for them? After all, casino websites such as www.casino.com/za/  are now ensuring that gamers have the chance to play casino games from the comfort of their own home, so are we soon to see slot machines and casino games also disappear from the The Arcades? Maybe they’ll be replaced by another form of video gaming, or maybe they will sadly just close altogether?

I have very fond memories of arcade games. I remember spending vast amounts of my pocket money on games such as Bomb Jack, Shinobi, Golden Axe, The Simpsons and the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Coin-Ops. There is a part of me that would hate to see video game arcades disappear altogether, but time makes fools of us all and change is somewhat inevitable. After all, maybe they’ll be replaced by virtual reality pods, or fully immersive gaming units.

Anyway, do you remember any old school video game arcades that you went to? Or maybe you have a game or two that you remember heaping huge amounts of coins into? I’d love to know.

Jim Franklin

Jim Franklin

Jim Franklin is a freelance writer, living in Derby UK with his wife. When time allows he likes nothing more than losing himself in a multi-hour gaming session. He likes most games and will play anything but prefers MMO's, and sandbox RPG's.

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