Fun Facts About Arcade Games

Fun Facts About Arcade Games

Arcade games have been providing fun and entertainment to people of all ages for nearly a century. Although the earliest games certainly didn’t look anything like the ones of today, they brought countless hours of enjoyment, nonetheless. If you consider yourself a fan of arcade games, perhaps you might be interested in knowing some little-known facts about them. Keep reading, and to experience tons of game-playing fun for yourself, visit Jo’Land Fun & Games in Eagle Mountain.

A close up image of a vintage pinball game

It All Started With Pinball

When you hear the term “arcade game” you likely think of the large, human-sized boxes containing a video screen, various buttons, and perhaps a joystick. And, although arcades really became popular in the 70s and 80s with this type of game, the first arcade games actually started with pinball. Pinball machines were introduced in the 1930s as tabletop games with no legs. Through the years they morphed into larger stand-up versions and eventually were upgraded further with lights and sound.

Image of a 1980s video game with blue and red joysticks

The First Video Games

What we think of now as the classic video game has its roots in a game created by an American physicist in the 1950s. It was a simple game that barely resembles any of its future counterparts. Fast forward a little over a decade and the first commercially sold, coin-operated game known as Computer Space was introduced. Within a year after that, the popular game Pong was released, along with the first home video game console — both contributing to the video game phenomenon.

Image of two video game machines facing each other

The Height of Arcade Games

The years between the late 1970s and early 1980s were the height for arcades across the country. It’s estimated that there were over 10,000 dedicated video game arcades, mostly positioned in shopping malls. During this historic era is when games such as Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Galaga, and Donkey Kong became legends. At the same time, home gaming consoles were also being introduced starting with the uninspiring brown box known as the Magnavox Odyssey. Five years later the home gaming world was changed forever with the introduction of the Atari 2600. This console was the first one that was capable of being able to swap different game cartridges and it quickly became a worldwide favorite.

Image of Pac-Man and two ghosts with the words “Are you ready? Press Start”

More Fun Facts

Now that you know a little bit about the history of arcade games, perhaps you would be interested in learning a few random fun facts.

  • Contrary to popular belief, Pong was not the first video game — but it was the first successful one.

  • Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney started Atari with just $500. Within 10 years, Atari sales grew to over $2 billion.

  • Mario, the primary character in many Nintendo games was originally named Jumpman.

  • The highest-grossing arcade machine of all time is Pac-Man, followed by Space Invaders

  • According to Entertainment Software Association, it’s estimated that more than 214 million people in the U.S. play video games one hour or more per week

Since the 1980s, most arcades have faded into history as more people have chosen to purchase their own home gaming systems. Despite no longer being able to find an arcade at every shopping mall, there are still a few left where you can enjoy current and past favorites with friends and family. Visit Jo’Land Fun & Games in Eagle Mountain for a trip down memory lane and endless fun for all ages!

Here is a list of some of the games we have here, at Jo’Land Fun & Games:

  • Quarry Quest

  • Air FX AirHockey

  • Mario Kart DX

  • Minions

  • Grab N Win

  • Safe Cracker

  • Tons of Tokens

  • Candy Crane House

  • Monster Jackpot

  • Ice Man

  • Skeeballs

  • Down Clown

  • Bass Wheel

  • Hyper Shoot

  • Connect 4

  • Pearl Fishery

  • Halo

  • Jurassic Park

  • Nerf

  • King of Rings

  • Roll N Go Monopoly

  • Whack N Win

  • Safe Cracker

Visit Jo’Land Fun & Games in Eagle Mountain for a trip down memory lane and endless fun for all ages!