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Xero

Death of the Arcade

Rating: 2 votes, 4.50 average.
With technological advances in consoles and Home Computer systems, Arcade
( Mame powered Games ) have taken a backseat to the sheer eye candy of the latest console titles.
Market penetration for these new systems is at an all time high, the majority of younger generations have one or more of these systems at home.

Arcade gamers used to dream about having that one special cabinet at home, the one that didn't take coins and could handle infinite credits, now gamers can have an entire arcade in their living rooms.
The gaming industry has grown at an exponential rate, fueled by these advances in home entertainment systems. this growth has been so fast in fact that few of us stop to consider where it all started.

But.....

Some of us remember a time when Saturday mornings were spent standing outside our local Arcade; clutching a hand full of coins, waiting for the doors to open.
Arcades were the birthplace of heroes, the mainstay of every gamer and the gathering place for like minded individuals before the Advent of the Internet.
With titles like Mortal Kombat, Metal Slug and Pacman capturing the imagination of entire generations and being directly responsible for many a weekend spent doing nothing but playing games.
Arcades were a place to play , discuss and hang out with other gamers.

Helping to establish a foundation for what was a fledgling industry, Arcades provided a market base for developers to use in the development of personal entertainment consoles and games.

With titles like Mortal Kombat later spilling over onto other platforms like consoles and the Personal Computer, Arcades kept their appeal amongst older gamers as a place to show off competitive prowess.
Starting what would later become the online and LAN competitive gaming movement, Arcades each had their regulars , their heroes, their legends.

Time was spent swapping stories around the Pinball machine, the one that had the TILT light permanently lit because it was propped up on a chewing gum box, with friends that were more concerned over beating the high score on Bomberman than having a positive kill to death ratio.

Now gamers spend their time using Instant messengers, sending private messages to virtual friends and sharing ingame stories by means of uploaded HD video content.Have we become so disconnected from what used to be great about gaming and the personal interaction that the Arcade offered all of us?

Instead of challenging the Arcade champ to a round of Battle Pong players now wage war in a realistic environment, calling in air strikes on the enemy while trying to capture and hold a crucial control point.One can argue that today's gamers are faster, better at gaming and even to a certain degree more adept at multitasking in their games of choice, but is this really better ?

No longer do gamers crowd around the Mortal Kombat cabinet , stacking coins on the side of the machine to book playing order.
Now, time is spent at home, playing the latest release that boasts 500 hours of gameplay and destructible environments.

A gamer once told me: “I have more than 3600 Mame Emulated games on my PC”
My reply ? “Does your PC accept coins ?”

Are the days of the Arcade gone forever, or do Arcades need to update their offerings, combining the nostalgic cabinets and control systems with state of the art visuals and internals ?

If they do update to keep with the times, will they still have the same appeal ?

While your considering the answers to those questions .....
Next time you walk by a faded cabinet , with 8 bit sound and pixelated graphics, pop in a coin and give it a go, it might very well be the last time you see a real Arcade machine.
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Comments

  1. Tsar's Avatar
    Its still very big in japan. Death in the west yes but in the east its still going strong.
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  2. OGBuzz's Avatar
    *salutes Arcade*

    without them gaming would not be as it is

    its the same as with many other things like modern fighter jets vs the piston powered fighters

    The true dogfighting was with the piston powered fighters, but they paved the way for more advance fighter jets, its just technology and the changes it in-stills, today dogfights are not about how well you could do the "split S" manourver but rather how well you opreate the avoinics etc...things change, they always do, nopthing stays the same, over time things get better or degrade in something less

    but alas i do agree, that "special" exciting feeling when it came to gaming is not the same, partially because we get so much gaming at our own demand and not when the doors open.

    I could remember my dad buting me a new ps1 game, man it was exciting to see that game load up for the 1st time, now ofcourse the excitement just isnt the same.....
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  3. Spartan's Avatar
    Good read.End of an era is approaching.
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