Talk:Golden age of arcade video games

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Markoff 1981 reference[edit]

I found it[1] in the PC game article. Having read it, I'm not sure it applies here. Nczempin (talk) 21:33, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

  • I agree. That article is not talking about an emerging home computer and home console market spurred by arcade games; it is discussing how the success of both arcades and home consoles has led to a large influx of companies introducing similar products. I am taking this out. Indrian (talk) 22:03, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean. I was referring to a link that was inadvertedly copied from the PC game article, where it is references several times and the additional times just use the name. Somehow just the name version got copied over, along with another reference (presumably the one you deleted). I had already removed the orphan. I didn't check the other reference, which was formally correct. Nczempin (talk) 22:14, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, it's clear to me now that you simply removed wholesale the text that User:Jagged 85 had just added. Since that text has been taken mostly from PC game, if you're really convinced then you should remove either remove it from that article too or perhaps restore it and bring it up for discussion (if Jagged 85 disagrees with the removal). I was merely correcting a technical error, don't consider this in any way to be justification for removing said part. I don't care either way, but I'd prefer it if one editor wouldn't simply revert another, especially when both have been working on the article for what looks like a pretty long time. Perhaps you can suggest a better way to phrase what has been added, or do you simply disagree wholesale? Nczempin (talk) 22:32, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Now I see. I thought there was only one reference there, the Black Enterprises article, and did not realize that you were actually eliminating a separate miscopied reference from Info World. I thought you were therefore referring to the Black Enterprises article not being applicable. While I was confused about your point, however, I stand by mine. The Black Enterprises article does not say what Jagged claimed, namely that a successful arcade industry in this period led to a thriving home console and home computer industry as well. The article actually states that because both the arcade and home markets were already thriving, more and more companies were getting involved in the business in 1982. Therefore, the statement I removed does not properly represent the cited source. If the language at PC game is the same as you say, I will remove it there also. Indrian (talk) 22:48, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Ok, so I looked at PC Games, and the context there is a little different, so I just tweaked the language. The article does state that home companies capitalized on popular games, but it says nothing about companies achieving their commercial success by taking advantage of cloning. Note that I am not saying this is untrue, as most of the home computer game and third-party console companies of the period owed much of their success to licensed or cloned concepts from the arcades. Its just that the source being used did not actually state this fact. A different source is needed to make that point. Indrian (talk) 22:56, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the source specifically states that the home video game industry (including consoles and computers) is "an outgrowth of the widespread popularity of video arcades." But you're right that it doesn't specifically refer to arcade ports or clones, though it does imply it in the best-sellers table, where many of the games are arcade ports/clones. Nevertheless, that part might need some re-wording. Jagged 85 (talk) 13:29, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
I concur that your change is a fair reading of the source. Again, its not that I think you are wrong, its just that I want to make sure the article reflects exactly what the source is saying. Indrian (talk) 17:43, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Golden age of arcade video games/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Indrian (talk · contribs) 20:47, 23 October 2015 (UTC)


I'll take this on. Comments to follow. Indrian (talk) 20:47, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Hello. This is only the second time I nominate an article for GA, but I'm pretty sure this article has what it takes to get to GA status (according to the criteria at least). I removed a small sentence before nominating this article for GA because it had a CN tag sitting there since over 3,5 years and I didn't find a citation. I have noticed another CN tag was added after that, and I will try to find a citation for it. If I don't find a citation, I will simply remove the paragraph with the CN tag. --TL22 (talk) 14:19, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
I will be posting this review in parts as I have time over the coming days. I will be sure to indicate when it is complete. I will warn you in advance that this article still contains a lot of information added by banned user Jagged 85, who was notorious for adding poorly researched or just plain erroneous sourced content to articles (see Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Jagged_85/Computer_Games_Evidence), so this article has more problems than it may appear on the surface. Indrian (talk) 16:17, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

General[edit]

  • The most serious problem evident throughout the article is the confusion surrounding sales figures and coin drop. The "Golden Age" appellation generally applies to the US arcade industry, which is basically the only market covered by this article. All of the dollar figures for coin drop refer solely to this market, as do most of the sales figures for games, yet worldwide figures for Space Invaders and Pac Man are reported rather than US figures, which are available.
Also, all coin drop figures are estimated, yet they are rarely labeled as such. Furthermore, these figures are claimed to cover calendar years, which they do not. There were two major sources for industry figures at the time, Playmeter and Vending Times. Playmeter reported its estimates in November, which covered a period from September to August, while Vending Times reported its figures in June. Finally, some of the figures reported in the article are estimates for the arcade industry as a whole, but are identified in the article as being the income from coin-operated video games only. The numbers must be completely overhauled for this article to pass.

Lead[edit]

  • This completely fails the guidelines for a proper Wikipedia lead, which is a requirement for a good article. This needs to be rewritten entirely.
    I attempted to rewrite it to something like this; "The golden age of arcade video games is known as the peak era of arcade video game popularity and technological innovation". Does that work? --TL22 (talk) 01:47, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
  • It needs to be greatly expanded. The WP:LEAD of an article this size is usually a few paragraphs long even. One singular sentence is too brief of an overview. Sergecross73 msg me 14:00, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Relevant Time Period[edit]

  • The Walter Day source is dead, and Internet Archive does not appear to have the relevant part of the article. This is not really a problem, because Day is not an expert fit to render judgement on a historical time period, so this should be removed, especially considering his version is so far out of whack vis-a-vis everyone else. My guess is he is referring to the period when he was at his peak of recording video game records at Twin Galaxies, which is completely different from what constitutes the Golden Age, which is based on commercial success and impact in pop culture.
    Thing removed. --TL22 (talk) 01:49, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
  • The Whittaker book is fine for time frame, but his claim that Space Invaders ended a video game crash that occurred in 1977 is absurd. As other, better sources elaborate, the market for dedicated Pong home systems crashed in 1977, but this had little impact on the console industry as a whole and absolutely no impact on the arcade industry, which did not suffer any kind of crash between the collapse of the Pong market in 1974 and the video arcade crash that started in 1982. This erroneous claim needs to be removed.
    Removed the video game crash end claim, and kept the remaining information ("[...] places the beginning of the golden age in 1978..."). --TL22 (talk) 01:56, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Likewise, the History of Computing Project source needs to be removed, as it is clearly trying to define a golden age for ALL video games, consumer and coin, rather than just arcade games. It is therefore not relevant to this discussion.
  • The Newton book is self-published by an author who is not otherwise recognized as an expert in the field, so it is not a reliable source.
  • The "other opinions" in the last paragraph is actually just Day again in a different section of the same source cited earlier. Once again, Day is not a scholar or expert in this area, and he is therefore not reliable for providing a time frame.
  • After the weeding above, that just leaves just two reliable sources for a time frame, Kent and Whittaker. That is now not enough to justify a separate section. If other reliable sources cannot be found, this information should be integrated into other parts of the article.

Business[edit]

  • There is another reference to Space Invaders ending a crash here, which needs to be removed.
  • The Pierce source is dead, though this time the Internet Archive does have the relevant pdf file. Pierce claims there were around 13,000 arcades at the peak, not 10,000 as the article states. Also, the source claims 10,000-13,000 arcades in 1998, not 4,000. Good old Jagged.
  • In one place, the article says arcades peaked at 10,000 and in another place it says arcades peaked at 24,000. These are both estimates and should be grouped together and identified as such to avoid the appearance of contradiction.
  • "At around this time, the home video game industry (second-generation video game consoles and early home computer games) emerged as "an outgrowth of the widespread success of video arcades" at the time" - Here is a classic example of Jagged 85's ridiculous claims backed by sources that say no such thing. The article claims the home industry "is rapidly expanding" due to the popularity of arcade games, which is a very different thing from "emerging." The home industry emerged before the start of the Golden Age, though the popularity of arcades in that time frame certainly did help the market grow bigger. This is what the source is saying, and our article completely misinterprets it.
  • "with some estimates as high as $10.5 billion for all video games (arcade and home) in the US that year" - This is about the arcade video game industry. The combined totals with home consoles, a separate industry, are irrelevant to the subject.
  • "in addition to many more with revenues in the tens of millions, including Dragon's Lair with $48 million and Space Ace with $13 million." - These are low figures for a hit game of the period, and Space Ace was a failure to boot. No source places any significance on reaching $10 million in quarters, so this should be removed.
  • The last paragraph is completely unsourced. "Success" is a subjective concept unless defined by set criteria, so a source is definitely needed to claim any of these developers were "successful."

Technology[edit]

  • The second paragraph is a jumble of non-notable arcade games and a list of their features without any source ascribing them significance. Who cares if Space Tactics featured "multi-directional scrolling" and a "first-person perspective" or that Bosconian "allowed the player's ship to move freely through space?" No sources give any of that any importance.
  • "By the early 1980s, scrolling had become popular among arcade video games and would make its way to third-generation consoles" - Another nonsense Jagged claim that has actually been removed from other articles. Plenty of scrolling games on second generation consoles. The move to scrolling in arcade games was a significant step, but this needs a source articulating that, which it currently does not.
  • "Several developers at the time were also experimenting with pseudo-3D and stereoscopic 3D using 2D sprites on raster displays" - This entire paragraph is original research because no sources are cited that show these experiments are notable. Its just a cobbled together list of games with sourcing only to confirm the gameplay or technical elements listed in the article.
  • "which was an early example of multiple CPUs, using two Z80 microprocessors, the second to drive a DAC for speech.[56] Multi-CPUs were used by several arcade games the following year" - Again, who cares if arcade boards started to incorporate more processors? Without a source ascribing importance to this advance, this is just another cobbled together list of games with no set criteria and no indication of notability.
  • " Data East's 1983 game Bega's Battle introduced a new form of video game storytelling: using brief full-motion video cutscenes to develop a story between the game's shooting stages, which would years later become the standard approach to video game storytelling" - Unsourced original research. Article only says it had cutscenes without ascribing any importance to it or declaring it "a new form of video game storytelling."

Gameplay[edit]

  • "Galaxian introduced a "risk-reward" concept" - What the heck does that even mean? More Jagged nonsense.
  • "Sega's 1980 release Space Tactics was an early first-person space combat game with multi-directional scrolling as the player moved the cross-hairs on the screen." - No importance is attached to this by the sources.
  • "and Rally-X, which featured a radar tracking the player position on the map" - Again, no indication from sources that this mattered.
  • "Namco's Bosconian in 1981 introduced a free-roaming style of gameplay where the player's ship freely moves across open space, while also including a radar tracking player & enemy positions. Bega's Battle in 1983 introduced a new form of video game storytelling: using brief full-motion video cutscenes to develop a story between the game's shooting stages. Other examples of innovative games are Atari Games' Paperboy in 1984 where the goal is to successfully deliver newspapers to customers, and Namco's Phozon where the object is to duplicate a shape shown in the middle of the screen. The theme of Exidy's Venture is dungeon exploration and treasure-gathering. One innovative game, Q*Bert, played upon the user's sense of depth perception to deliver a novel experience." - No sources to justify including any of this.

Popular Culture[edit]

  • Virtually the entire Pac Man paragraph is unsourced.
  • "Though many popular games quickly entered the lexicon of popular culture, most have since left, and Pac-Man is unusual in remaining a recognized term in popular culture, along with Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Mario and Frogger." - Needs a source.
  • The whole movie paragraph is a mess. Describing movies where video games play a central role like Tron or The Last Starfighter makes sense. A random list of every movie that had a video game or an arcade appear in the background briefly does not.

List of Popular Arcade Games and List of Best-selling Arcade Games[edit]

Decline and Aftermath[edit]

  • Lots of unsourced material here, particularly in the second paragraph. The revenue numbers also contain some of those problems I referred to at the top of the review.

Legacy[edit]

This section is really sparse and largely unsourced. Probably needs a complete overhaul.

Well, as you can see, the article has its fair share of issues at the moment. Right now, the article does not pass the Well Written or Verifiable GA criteria for the reasons enumerated above. Honestly, the list of problems is so large I should probably just fail the article outright. As I consider GAN to be a great forum for improving articles, however, I will place this review On hold to give you an opportunity to make changes. Indrian (talk) 18:04, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Indrian - I am withdrawing this nomination, unfortunately. I have been too busy lately and couldn't get time to make any further improvements than the 3 I made, and the only improvement made by someone else was the expansion of the lead. However, I may make improvements in the future, so stay tuned. --TL22 (talk) 02:38, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
I understand. I would be happy to review the article again once you have had a chance to make improvements. Good luck! Indrian (talk) 16:23, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

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A potential area to cover[edit]

As I have touched on improving the International Video Game Hall of Fame article, there is something I see from that that could be touched on here, specifically on the rise of "celebrity" high score chasers, Twin Galaxies, and the like, which started ca. 1982. Importantly, and I don't see how to necessarily include it yet, but there's a LIFE magazine photo take on Nov 1982 in Ottumwa Iowa of the first known arcade game competition which is said to be likened to the video game industries' "Sgt. Peppers" image. (eg a way to include it under NFC). But that area about score-chasing needs to be established a bit better before that, and I'm not sure best on sourcing. --MASEM (t) 20:43, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

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  1. ^ John Markoff (November 30, 1981), "Atari acts in an attempt to scuttle software pirates", InfoWorld, 3 (28), pp. 28–9, ISSN 0199-6649, retrieved May 1, 2011