Arcade Game History

The following are examples of culturally or technologically significant arcade games. For more detailed information, check out Videotopia - history of mankind's first interactive media



Computer Space
Nutting Associates, 1971

Designed by Nolan Bushnell, Computer Space was the first commercial arcade videogame.


Space Invaders
Taito/Bally/Midway, 1978

The first blockbuster videogame. Space Invaders was the first game to appear outside of arcades and bars and reach a mainstream audience in places like restaurants and ice-cream parlors.


Bally/Midway, 1980

Licensed from the company Namco, Pac-Man was based on an ancient Japanese folk-tale. The game was so successful in Japan that it actually caused a Yen shortage. Pac-Man also took America by storm, appearing on the cover of Time Magazine as well as spawning a Saturday-morning cartoon and a hit song.


Dragon's Lair
Starcom/Cinematronics, 1983

Created by Rick Dyer and animated by Don Bluth, Dragon's Lair was an interactive film that became the first released game to utilize laser disc technology. Dragon's Lair's visuals fascinated all who saw it, and the game achieved an immortality that no other laser disc game was able to match.


Daytona USA
Sega, 1994

Utilizing the sweeping virtual "camera" movements, smooth animations, and multiple camera angles developed in its predecessor Virtua Racing, Daytona USA introduced the world to games that truly began to look and feel like reality. The game also perfected the art of the multi-player experience as up to 4 Daytona "twin" cabinets could be linked together to enable as many as 8 people to participate in the same game. Daytona completely redefined the racing genre with its spectacular graphics and real-world physics.


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