Talk:Golden age of arcade video games

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I think this page is biased towards Space Invaders. I don't know anyone who would say the "golden age" of arcade gaming started with that game - more commonly it's thought to start around 1980 with Battlezone, Berzerk, Missile Command, Pac-Man, and others, and last until the mid- to late-1980s. See KLOV's Top 100 list, and note where most of the popular games are. - Brian Kendig 00:20, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I'm not so sure. One might say it started with Pong (that would be a silly assertion since Pong came out in 1972 according to KLOV), but from looking at the dated list, it sure looks like the memorable/interesting/enjoyable games started around 1978 with Space Invaders (SI). I didn't mean to tilt the article more in that direction by including the SI picture - just to add a little color. Change it if you like (of course, making sure to write a good caption ;-) ). -- ke4roh 00:44, Aug 10, 2004 (UTC)

Nono, it's not just the picture. :) I disagree strongly with the article's assertion that the "golden age" sprung up with Space Invaders and lasted through the 1990s; I've always seen it as being confined to the early 1980s, starting with color arcade games and lasting until the mid-80s when the arcades became flooded with clones. I've edited the article to bring it more in line with my understanding of reality. - Brian Kendig 02:00, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Except the problem is that color (meaning using full color RGB monitors) arcade games were first produced in 1975. Secondly, you have to differentiate whether you mean "golden age" from a player perspective or industry. From an industry standpoint it started in '78 with Space Invaders, which is what prompted vendors to sell outside the normal bowling alley/bar location. I still remember Space Invaders showing up in resteraunts (that had not carried video games or arcade games of any time before) and other locations at the time. From a player perspective, this is when a lot of the variety started sparking as well. --Marty Goldberg 18:15, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
As the original editor of this article, I thought it started with SI and ended when arcade game developers stopped innovating and people started just playing games on home systems and stopped going to arcades. That would be the early 1990s. Just MHO, of course. Frecklefoot | Talk 14:36, Aug 10, 2004 (UTC)

IMHO, defining the "golden age" as spanning a decade and a half is like saying that the "golden age" of American automobiles started with the Model T and ended in the 1970s. I would say that the "golden age" of arcade games was the brief period of time when games started getting really catchy and memorable, and ended when arcades became flooded with games that all looked and played alike. Look at that KLOV list of the top 100 games which I linked to above - fully 46 of the games all came out in 1980, 81, 82, and 83, whereas the following four years only have a total of 14 games on the list. Yes, part of this was due to video game consoles coming onto the scene and stealing attention away from arcades - but the culprit was the NES, not the PlayStation. - Brian Kendig 18:13, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Um, okay. I still ran across a lot of arcades up until about 1990 when they started disappearing (perhaps we should change the year to 1990 instead of mid-1990s). Most people I knew who owned an NES still frequented arcades often. The NES was good, but its games didn't nearly rival arcade gams in terms of quality.
As for the period, yes there were a great deal of clones after a while. Heck, there were clones right after Pong and SI were released. Even when the arcades were flooded with clones, new, innovative games were still coming out. It's that period of innovation that was the defining characteristic of the Golden Age. Saying it ended when clones started coming out is like, to use your example, saying the "golden age" of American automobiles ended when Chevrolet went into business.Frecklefoot | Talk 18:27, Aug 10, 2004 (UTC)

I asked for some more opinions on an emulation bulletin board here and got some good answers. - Brian Kendig 02:57, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for doing the "research." :-) Per that discussion, how about changing it to mid-'80s? 1983 seems too early for the end to me, and I do think Space Invaders started the craze, even though it took a while for other games to come out (the discussion noted other games took a while to develop). It also sounds like they prefer "Golden Age of Arcade Games" as the name of the era. Frecklefoot | Talk 14:44, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
I've been tweaking the article to bring in facts to back up the assertions - have a look at it, let me know what you think, edit as desired. By the way, good job on this article; I'm glad you created it in the first place. :) - Brian Kendig 16:14, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I like the changes. You even have the "more generous" definition in there as well! :-) I made just some minor changes, such as italicizing game titles rewording a caption. I kind of liked the wikilink in the caption, but it doesn't really have to be there (I just liked the fact that a caption could have a wikilink--they didn't used to). One more thing is that I removed the extern link to the Top 100 KLOV game list. The Manual of Style discourages it and the link is still in the extern links section.
As for creating the article, I think it looks a lot better now (and accurate) than the first version I created. Every encyclopedia should be a wiki! :-) Frecklefoot | Talk 16:35, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)

I found some writing by William Day on the Twin Galaxies website which makes a very strong case for specific dates, 1981-1986. I believe nobody is more qualified than he to define such things. I've edited the first section to reflect those dates and cited Day's writing. Bringing the period up to the 1990s is way, way too broad, as the technology then was drastically different. Xif866 16:49, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Golden Age or Golden age?[edit]

I see this article was moved, but I think it belongs at "Golden Age of Arcade Games." The title is a proper name of a period, not just an ambiguous reference. If you look at the disam page for Golden age, you'll see it is used differently for different periods. Which is correct? I assert the mostly caps version is the proper one and we should move it back. :-) Frecklefoot | Talk 14:36, Aug 10, 2004 (UTC)

The term "golden age of arcade games" is an ambiguous reference - it's a colloquial term, not widely used, and is not "official" in any sense. It's kind of like referring to the "golden age of American transportation." I was concerned that by capitalizing it as "Golden Age of Arcade Games" someone would think that this is a well-defined term in common usage. - Brian Kendig 18:13, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

It's not that big of a deal to me (and BTW, I use the term a lot :-) ). Anyways, the mostly caps version redirects to this article anyway. :-) Peace. Frecklefoot | Talk 18:27, Aug 10, 2004 (UTC)

How about "Golden Age of arcade games," is that any better? - Brian Kendig 21:04, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
(a) Choose whatever you like.
(b) Create redirects for all other options that have been suggested. It's not like these redirects will get in the way of anything of use up real life paper print space ;-)
Ropers 00:36, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I'd prefer for the article to exist under the "most correct" title, whatever we decide that title to be, with all other "less correct" titles being redirects to it. Often there is a title which is more correct than others. Like, today I moved "Robotron 2084" to Robotron: 2084. - Brian Kendig 03:00, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I'd prefer whatever is "most correct" as well. I don't know if it is "Golden Age of Arcade Games" or "Golden Age of arcade games" or what it is now. Are there any English majors out there? Frecklefoot | Talk 14:35, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
If it is an article title, it should be written as: "The Golden Age of Arcade Games". --
Well, I'm all for it. But I'm afraid if I move it (again), someone will just move it back. Frecklefoot | Talk 22:43, Oct 7, 2004 (UTC)
I moved the page to be consistent with the spelling used throughout the article (Golden Age of Arcade Games). I think the caps are fine, since it's the name of a period. --Poiuyt Man talk 02:48, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

New Arcade Games project[edit]

I just thought I should mention that a new WikiProject for arcade games has been started. If you want to help with the WikiProject Arcade Games, head on over and add yourself to the participants! :-) Frecklefoot | Talk 16:42, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)

Featured Article?[edit]

What do y'all think about making this article a featured article candidate? Even though I originated it, I think it's well-written, especially after all the edits by everyone else. I think we done ourselves proud! What do y'all think? Frecklefoot | Talk 16:42, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)

It's up there now--getting some useful comments. Frecklefoot | Talk 07:21, Aug 22, 2004 (UTC)

For those interested, you can go to the featured article section on this article and look at the comments. If you're in the mood, try addressing Taxman's comments. For example, he thought the article should address Q-bert specifically (not sure why) and talk more about the Pac-Man phoenomena. I think the Pac-Man craze is addressed in it's own article, but we could include more info on it in this article too. Frecklefoot | Talk 15:08, Aug 26, 2004 (UTC)

I think it looks fabulous, Frecklefoot. But I can't access the comments page you are talking about. I suspect I have a cache problem, because when I follow your link the featured article section on this article and search within the page for golden it's not there:
Does anyone know which setting in IE 6 works best? Refresh every visit to the page, automatically, or other? I also constantly have a problem with the front page being stale. Spalding 17:23, Oct 6, 2004 (UTC)


The video game crash of 1983 was all about the glut in the home market - I don't see that it had any influence on arcades. I don't think it had anything to do with the end of the arcade golden age. I'd recommend taking out "(when the video game market collapsed temporarily)" in the first paragraph. - Brian Kendig 14:44, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I added that per discussion of the article on the featured article candidate page. I don't think it was affected either, but I thought the addition of it didn't hurt anything. If you disagree, take it out. Take a look at the discussion on the FAC page too. One editor wants mention of Q*Bert, but I didn't take the time to work it in (it was a good game, but was it that notable?). There are some other good comments (but I don't think the article made the cut) :( Frecklefoot | Talk 15:53, Aug 24, 2004 (UTC)

Q*Bert had a ton of merchandise and a cartoon show, so it crossed into the "real world" in the same way that Pac-Man did--obviously not to the same extent. I'd say it was very important at the time. Not so much historically, except for the effect it had on general society's idea of video games. Xif866 17:08, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Rework & additions[edit]

I just added a whole bunch of new content and moved some stuff around in order to address some of the comments raised on the featured article candidate page. We got some good input and some of my additions address them. Others, such as the list of most popular games, I added since it seemed like the article needed it. Please look over my changes and make any changes you feel appropriate. Please raise any issues here.

One thing to note, I know the list of Most popular games is a bit subjective, so look it over and see if you agree with the entries. I tried to only add the most important games of the Age--I didn't want to add KLOV's entire list!--and I only included games from the late 1970's to the mid-1980's.

I hope you like the changes! Frecklefoot | Talk 18:24, Aug 26, 2004 (UTC)

I don't see a need for that list of "most popular games". It's highly subjective (unless you can provide revenue figures), you even acknowledge that some people consider the last couple outside the "Golden Age," and the first few are way before the "Golden Age." I think a list to KLOV's list will suffice, unless you want to draw attention to a particular few of these games by describing in the article why they are good examples of the period. - Brian Kendig 21:00, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I like the list. Instant nostalgia. Tempshill 18:18, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Innovation ad nauseum[edit]

This article currently contains nine instances of the word "innovation" (and its variants). I think that's overkill. :) Especially as it's hard to say that a game like Centipede is one of "the most innovative" games; it succeeds because it's very simple, not because it's full of innovations. - Brian Kendig 20:54, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

A quick trip to Merriam-Webster shows these synonyms for "innovative": inventive, creative, demiurgic, deviceful, ingenious, innovational, innovatory, original, originative. By my count, that is nine in all. Replace at your leisure. :-) Frecklefoot | Talk 21:02, Aug 30, 2004 (UTC)
Sure, when I have a chance, unless someone else beats me to it! Buried in the Star Trek articles at the moment. :) - Brian Kendig 23:56, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Console Confusion?[edit]

" the early to mid nineties the Super-Nintendo and the Sega Saturn greatly improved home play..."

Do you perhaps mean the Sega Genesis? The Saturn was the console Sega released after the Genesis, in competion with Sony's Playstation. --Vigil 19:49, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Request for references[edit]

Hi, I am working to encourage implementation of the goals of the Wikipedia:Verifiability policy. Part of that is to make sure articles cite their sources. This is particularly important for featured articles, since they are a prominent part of Wikipedia. Further reading is not the same thing as proper references. Further reading could list works about the topic that were not ever consulted by the page authors. If some of the works listed in the further reading section were used to add or check material in the article, please list them in a references section instead. The Fact and Reference Check Project has more information. Thank you, and please leave me a message when a few references have been added to the article. - Taxman 19:07, Apr 22, 2005 (UTC)

I have added a reference, pls. see first sections of the article and this discussion page. Previously the dating of this period was extremely subjective. I have left in the other opinions because I cannot authoritatively say that they are wrong; however they now take a back seat to the cited source, written by Walter Day. I believe he is by far the most influential and important person of the period, even more so after reading that source. He was the man. But then again I was not there, myself.

The ending year of the Golden Age cited from that writing is agreed upon by the Walter_Day article (section "After the golden age." —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:16, August 22, 2007 (UTC) Xif866 17:30, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

What about after this?[edit]

I think this article should be renamed "arcade games in the 1980s" or something. Beginning with Street Fighter II in 1991, arcades exploded with popularity again, driven by constant new-arrivals of fighting games and sit-down racers. In urban arcades where I grew up (at this time), literally dozens of people would crowd around the fighting games waiting for a chance. One place I went to even had Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat on huge projection screens so everyone in the crowd could see. With a name like "Golden Age of Arcade Games", what could you title an article to describe this later time period? And since the "golden age" WAS in the 80s, and people can't agree when it started/ended, and because of the later time period, it seems right to me. It would then be easy to create "arcades in the 1990s" and "arcades in the 2000s" articles. Aside from all of that, the title sounds nostalgic and unencylopedic. Static3d 16:06, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

I like it the way it is, but I'm biased. Anyone else? You also might want to bring it up on the arcade game project. — Frecklefoot | Talk 19:37, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
It isn't that wrong as a lot of game concepts where invented.

New game ideas are devolped not that often in this time period a lot of game ideas where invented. The reason i think because computer parts became cheap programmers inventive and a new software industry was born this time.

Those later games were certainly important, but they cannot be considered as part of "the golden age." That term generally refers to the seminal period. I'd call Street Fighter 2, et al, the silver age, and DDR, Soul Caliber, etc. bronze. Alternatively, decades could be used as suggested above for the more modern times.Xif866 17:59, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Namco bias?[edit]

Why is every game on the list a Namco game? --Dumbfword

It looks like someone spammed the list with their favorite games. Fixing... — Frecklefoot | Talk 19:37, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Fixed, that was one big piece of vandalism. — Frecklefoot | Talk 19:40, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

missing games in the article[edit]

I think of the game Elite (which came out in various hardware) is a missed game here. Since it was the firs 3D space trade shooter with a user decidable plot.

I can imagine a lot more games missing here in this article so fill it up or did you forgot how hard you beated your joystick with those olympic games and others.

Add your missing games.

The list of games in the article is not meant to be exhaustive. It is meant to contain only the most popular games of the era, and it does. There may be a few missing here or there, but let's not list them all. I've had a similar problem with lists that are meant to be short in other articles I've started. People see a list and start filling it up with their personal favorites until the list is so long that it's useless. Please don't add games to the list before discussing it's addition here first. If you really feel a burning desire to add a game, you can add it to the List of arcade games. Thanks. — Frecklefoot | Talk 15:31, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Color Games As Dividing Line[edit]

I changed the main paragraph a bit, as using the "appearance" of color games as a dividing line is not accurate - since they first appeared in 1975 - Atari/Kee's Indy 800 (though it routinely gets incorrectly attributed to Galaxian). Also fleshed out the appearance of arcades to more closely match what is also covered in the main part of the article - that arcade games (and arcades in general) started appearing outside of their normal venues. --Marty Goldberg 18:15, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

historical perspective[edit]

I'm not sure this article has the best name; we're talking about the golden age of video arcade games. Coin-op arcade games were around for over forty years before video games... I'm not sure if they had a "golden age", might be best to ask collectors... -- Akb4 16:48, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, video arcade games had a golden age. Usually in the time period mentioned in the article (late 70's though mid 80's). Overall the video market generally followed (meaning occured in the crest) more traditional coin-op peaks during market cycles. --Marty Goldberg 19:18, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
ah, I was perhaps unclear. I agree that there certainly was a "golden age of video arcade games". My concern is that there might have been an entirely unrelated "golden age of arcade games", such as the rise of skeeball, or gypsy fortune teller machines, or coin-op sports games. There were at least four decades worth of arcade games before video arcade games came along. -- Akb4 00:08, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Just revisiting this, and you're actually right. This article is specifically related to video arcade games and not arcade games in general. --Marty Goldberg 21:46, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I've moved the page, per the move request. Cheers. -GTBacchus(talk) 00:38, 18 November 2007 (UTC)


Isn't there room for mention of Tetris in the "Most Popular Games" list? I believe it ruled the late 80's.

However, this is the Golden Age listing, which ended in the mid 80's. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 21:34, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Economical aspects[edit]

I would appreciate if someone could complete the article with more economical aspects of the arcade games business. Informations such as : price of arcade boards, income generated by games, etc... Or should this go into another article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

That's an inappropriate topic for Wikipedia. The prices vary too much among different games, plus there's a dearth of reliable sources for such information. Your best bet is to find a good arcade game newsgroup and ask questions there. — Frecklefσσt | Talk 20:00, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Lead puts too much weight on the various opinions on the date range[edit]

Apart from the first sentence, the lead only talks about the different opinions of which date range actually comprised the golden age. This part should be moved to the main article, summarized with perhaps a rough consensus and stating there is no universal agreement. Then the lead can be expanded to actually summarize a bit more of the main article. -- Nczempin (talk) 22:52, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

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)