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Photo: Thanassi Karageorgiou


Video Arcade

May 13, 2017 — Jan 28, 2018

Location: Changing Exhibitions Gallery

In 1980, $2.8 billion in quarters were pumped into video arcade games in the United States, more than triple the revenue from any previous year. The video arcade had arrived, as a popular culture phenomenon and a vital force in the entertainment industry. Improved graphics, game design, and marketing made such games as Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and Pac-Man into addictive and commercially successful hits. At their peak, there were more than 10,000 video arcades across the country. Within a decade, the rise of the personal computer and home consoles would mark the end of the video arcade’s golden age.

This arcade allows visitors to play 23 of the era’s most beloved games, in their original form.

Games on view include:

10 Yard Fight (1983)

Arkanoid (1986)

Battlezone (1980)

Centipede (1980)

Defender (1981)

Dig Dug (1982)

Donkey Kong (1981)

Frogger (1981)

Galaxy Force II (1988)

Gauntlet (1985)

Karate Champ (1984)

Mortal Kombat (1992)

Ms. Pac-Man (1981)

NBA Jam (1993)

Out Run (1986)

Pole Position (1982)

Q*Bert (1999)

Robotron 2084 (1982)

Star Wars (1983)

Terminator 2 (1991)

Track and Field (1983)

Tron (1981)

Zaxxon (1982)

Tokens are required for play and may be purchased in the gallery at token machines or in the Museum store. Throughout the run of the exhibition, games may be retired and replaced with other games for conservation purposes.