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- January - Atari computer magazine ANALOG Computing begins 9 years of publication. Most issues include at least one BASIC game and one machine language game.
- November - The British video game magazine Computer and Video Games (C&VG) starts.
- Winter - Arnie Katz and Bill Kunkel found Electronic Games, the first magazine on video games and generally recognized as the beginning of video game journalism.
- February, Konami releases Scramble, the first side-scrolling shooter with forced scrolling and multiple distinct levels.
- February, Williams Electronics releases Defender.
- July 9 - Nintendo releases Donkey Kong, which introduces the characters of Donkey Kong and Mario, and sets the template for the platformer genre. It is also one of the first video games with an integral storyline.
- September, Namco releases Galaga, the sequel to Galaxian which becomes more popular than the original.
- June, Konami releases Frogger.
- October, Frogger is distributed in North America by Sega-Gremlin.
- October, Sega releases Turbo, a racing video game for the VCO Object that features a third-person perspective, rear-view racer format.
- October 21 - Williams Electronics releases Stargate, the sequel to Defender.
- November, Namco releases Bosconian, the first game to have a continue feature.
- December, Jump Bug, the first scrolling platformer, developed by Hoei/Coreland and Alpha Denshi, is distributed in North America by Rock-Ola under license from Sega.
- Midway releases Gorf and Wizard of Wor.
- Taito releases Space Dungeon, the first twin-stick shooter.
- ^ Video Game Myth Busters - Did the "Crash" of 1983/84 Affect Arcades?, The Golden Age Arcade Historian (December 27, 2013)
- ^ George Lucas and the Digital Revolution, p. 296, 2006
- ^ http://2600connection.com/library/magazines/spectrum/spectrum_dec82.pdf#page=7
- ^ Game Genres: Shmups, Professor Jim Whitehead, January 29, 2007, Accessed June 17, 2008
- ^ "donkey kong [coin-op] arcade video game, nintendo co., ltd. (1981)". Arcade-history.com. Retrieved February 28, 2013.