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Overview of Arcade Games: History, Features, Limitations

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Overview of Arcade Games: History, Features, Limitations essay
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Arcade games were usually placed in areas such as pubs amusement parks and restaurants for the entertainment of the customers or anyone that attended however, these days’ arcade games are very uncommon and it is very rare that you would see one of these around. This is due to the development in technology, now no one needs to leave the comfort of their home in order for them to be able to play games. Arcade games would charge a fee for you to play the game (normally a certain amount of coins needed to be inserted) and then the game would start, every game would have its own rate which it would charge the users for a certain amount of game time.

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The use of arcade games started in the early 1900’s (1930’s specifically) and this was the very first pinball machine. This wasn’t a digital game or video game but was more skill based and live. The very first video game was launched in 1971 and was by Syzygy (currently known as Atari) and this was known as Computer Science.


  • One game per machine
  • Simple technology (one large screen and controls)
  • Controlled using joysticks and colourful buttons (all had a specific use)
  • Range of games available (even though they were limited to one game a machine).


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  • Price – an arcade machine itself is quite expensive and also costs a lot of money to purchase one and set it up, maintenance costs are also very high due to it only being able to display one game at a time. If they are to get damaged, then repairs are also quite costly due to it being such an old model and generation only specific engineers can repair it.
  • Portability – the machine is very big meaning that it cannot be taken from place to place, the owner would have to find a specific place to set down the machine with enough room, also the machine is quite heavy so lifting it is also an issue.
  • Multiplayer – these machines are built for single player gaming only and 2 players would not be able to game together using one or multiple machines, another reason for this is because the machines do not possess internet connectivity meaning online gaming is also not an option.
  • Extremely Fragile – as I have been through before, repairs for arcade games are very pricey however they are very fragile and almost impossible not to damage, this is a major limitation because they are very expensive to buy but can break easily so a lot of care needs to be taken when using it.


The gameplay of an arcade game is quite simple and enjoyable, it is a quick to learn and understand game which normally takes some skill to play, often the player will play short levels which increase in difficulty almost instantly, for its time the quality of the gameplay was great and everyone enjoyed to play.


In conclusion arcade games have developed a lot in the past years and are completely different to what we had when they were first introduced, but this also means that the price of the machines has risen immensely, this is one of the reasons people would rather game on consoles or PC’s. Arcade machines are very rare now anyway which makes it harder for developers and researches to increase the game quality and versions as well as the physical look of the machines. Due to technology advancing as well as portability issues arcade gaming is not majorly popular and needs a lot of development before it can be successful again.

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Overview of Arcade Games: History, Features, Limitations. (2020, April 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/overview-of-arcade-games-history-features-limitations/
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