By September 4, 2020 Read More →

The Arcade Craze of the 80s

Arcades have a long history but the Video Arcade is a product of the ’80s even though the first video arcade games were made in the ’70s. The January 1982 Time MAgazine cover story was the Video Game touting how most brought in over $400 a week in quarters and that there were 13,000 dedicated arcades in the US. Tilt started opening up a chain of arcades in shopping malls beginning in 1978 beginning with Space Invaders. Pac Man came out in 1980 and is undoubtedly one of the most successful arcade games ever made and spawned a Saturday morning cartoon and a hit song “Pac Man Fever.” Arcades were a 3 Billion dollar industry in 1980 and would grow to 7 Billion the next year.
Advertised as Family Friendly most arcades were anything but, they were dark so you could see the monitors better, loud with each on demo mode. Arcades were for young people, teens and young adults. Your mother did not want to step foot in one and you would not want her too.
As with any successful industry, there would be oversaturation. At one time Modesto had Tilt at the Vintage Faire Mall, Chuck E Cheese, Game Station #1 & #2, Cals-R-Cade, Regency Game Palace, The Electric Underground and of course the arcade at Putt-Putt Golf. Gaming revenue that peaked at 12 billion would drop to $100 Million by 1985. The decline was not solely due to oversaturation, in part, it was mothers and churches protesting. The true culprit would be the advent of home systems such as Nintendo and the revolutionary NES console.
Nowadays you can find Barcades popping up all around the US filled with pinball and arcade games filling that nostalgic void. 


About the Author:

Middagh Goodwin LIVES Music. He has been booking and promoting Music, Art and Comedy for years in the Central Valley. He ran the award winning Plea for Peace Center in Stockton for 5 Years and has booked bands from A-Z. Middagh is beginning 2016 with a new position at the Gallo Center for the Arts and celebrating Beat Happy! Music's 30th Anniversary. Read the MAMAView every month and a the Needle Drop 52 Records 52 Weeks.