The Life and Death of the american Arcade

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The Verge hat ein ziemlich fantastisches Feature über Arcade-Spielhallen und die Wurzeln von Videogames in Pinball-Maschinen. Must Read!

To say that Nolan Bushnell single-handedly created the arcade would probably be overstating it: coin-operated machines had been popular in America for decades by the time he got his start in the early ’70s, and the pinball arcade had a storied (and notorious) spot in American history. It is also undeniable, however, that the video game arcade would not have happened without him.

The video game arcade had its roots in 1971, when Computer Space, the first commercially sold, coin-operated video game, was designed by Bushnell and Ted Dabney. Though considered a failure at the time, the game was revolutionary, and formed the foundations of a new industry. It also marked the beginning of a long, illustrious, and world-changing career for Nolan Bushnell. In 1971, however, Computer Space looked anything but illustrious, and the idea that there would soon be arcades dedicated entirely to video games was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind — except for maybe Nolan Bushnell’s. To understand the ecosystem that Bushnell and his ilk injected themselves into to create the modern video game arcade, however, you have to go back a lot farther than the 1970s.

For Amusement Only: the life and death of the American arcade