UNCP Students experienced a blast from the past when retro games came to the UC on March 14 from 10 to 2p.m. The event was sponsored by PAC. The ‘Back In Time” arcade games were free to play as student government President Dajer Fernandez was spotted in the retro arcade.
Arcade games have been around for over a hundred years. The first arcade game, Skee-Ball. Skee-Ball was invented in 1909 by J.D. Estes in Philadelphia. The 10-foot-long, game was considered a form of gambling, causing it to be banned in some parts of the country.
In 1931, the first coin-operated machine, Baffle Ball, was created in Chicago. Pinball, another coin-operated game, was invented in 1933. According to M&P Amusement, coin-operated machines were games of chance and considered gambling, so they were banned.
Playing pinball was like being a part of organized crime. The classic pinball machine was found primarily in bars and porn shops when it was first invented. The flippers in pinball were added to transform the game into a game of skill rather than chance.
The hope was that the flippers would make the game more family friendly. Computer Space, invented in 1971, was the first mass-produced video arcade game. In 1972, the first commercially successful coin-operated video game, Pong, was released, replacing pinball machines. Pac-Man, the most successful arcade video game of all time, was released in 1980.
Pac-Man sold 350,000 arcade cabinets, making over $2 billion. Donkey Kong was created in 1981 and it was the first game to have a more intricate story line featuring a damsel in distress. The gaming industry was nearly killed off in 1983, because parents were concerned about their children playing such games.
The Nintendo Entertainment System, created in 1985, and the Sega Master system released in 1986 lead to a focus in developing home gaming systems. Arcade games became popular again in 1991, with the release of Street Fighter II and fighting games such as Mortal Kombat and Virtual Fighter.
The next boost in the arcade industry came from Dance Dance Revolution, released in 1999 by Konami. The 2000s had to make arcade games more modern to keep the industry alive and going. Built-in cameras were added to Mario Kart Arcade GP in 2005.
Dead Heat Street Racing introduced score sharing through social media in 2010. By 2013, the arcade world was introduced to 4D gaming through the release of Dark Escape 4D. The game has surround sound, 3D glasses, vibrations, a heart rate monitor and blasts of air.