Arcade games by definition are typically coin-operated machines such as pinball machines, video games and merchandisers (games which use claw cranes).

The first popular arcade games date back to the 1920s with the first coin-operated, fortune telling machines. In 1966 Sega introduced Periscope, an early submarine simulator, which became a worldwide success and the first arcade game to cost one quarter to play, a price which remained the standard for arcade games for many years to come.


Beginning in the late 1970s through the mid-1990s, arcade games reached their golden era thanks to the enormous popularity of Taito’s Space Invaders in 1978. During this time, arcade games could be found in many shopping malls, grocery stores and local restaurants.

Some of the most popular arcade games such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Asteroids and Defender were released during this time. By the late 1990s, arcade game popularity declined drastically. Since then, today’s most popular games have included Dance Dance Revolution, DrumMania, Time Crisis and House of the Dead.

Missing some of your favorite characters from arcade and video games past? Well you’re in luck! You can catch many of them in the action-packed film, Wreck-It-Ralph 3D, playing on select dates in the Digital Adventure Theater: A National Geographic Experience.

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