What Made Arcade Games So Great?

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When I was a kid, there were few things I enjoyed doing more than going down to the local video arcade and playing arcade games for hours on end. There was something about being at the arcade that was so much better than playing video games at home, and I always wanted to be a part of the action. I started to reflect on this issue the other day when I took my own son to a local arcade to try to determine what made arcade games so great, and I came up with a few theories.

One of the things that I think I loved the most about arcade games was the fact that when I went to play them, I was almost always with my friends. I really enjoyed hanging out with my friends when I was much younger, and the two things I always associate with those times was going to baseball games and hanging out at the arcade. I remember all of us would save our change, and whenever one of us would get a roll of quarters, we would got down to the local arcade to play games all day.



I think I also really liked arcade games because of the way that the arcade itself was set up. Not only did we have our choice of whatever game we could possibly think of to play, but we also had a food court, prizes, drinks and so forth. Going to the arcade when I was a kid was an event! I distinctly remember spending more than one birthday at the video arcade, and my parents loved it. They would sit there eating pizza and sharing a pitcher of beer, while all of us played all the games we could!


The biggest reason that I loved arcade games so much growing up, however, was the fact that they were so much fun to play. Games like Pac Man, Frogger, Donkey Kong and Pole Position will forever be a part of American pop culture, and at one point in my life, they were all very near and dear to my heart. The old-style joysticks and the buttons, the coin slots and the sounds they would make whenever you did something good or bad! It was just a child's dream.

There are many reasons that I loved arcade games growing up, and in many respects, I still do. I could spend hours at the arcade when I was growing up, and on many occasions I did just that. I do not actually play video games any more, but sometimes I will watch my son when he is playing and remember how much fun it was.