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Galloping Ghost Gives Arcade Gaming an Extra Life


Photograph: Daniel Hull

Arcades occupy a unique place in video game history. In the late 1970s and 1980s, a string of hits like Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong ushered in new gameplay mechanics and bright, crispy pixel graphics. The 1990s featured the fighting game boom with Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, and Virtua Fighter demonstrating cutting-edge graphics and gameplay. 

It was the place to be, a time when the cutting edge in video games, from texture-mapped polygonal graphics to peripheral control inputs (including steering wheels, light guns, and dance-mats), could only be found crammed into immaculately designed cabinets, complete with their showy bezels and marquees. Arcades dodged hardware limitations largely due to their ability to optimize the hardware specifically to play one single game. Home consoles and computers hadn’t yet caught up.

But as technology advanced, the cutting edge found its way to a new generation of console ...


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