Joystick, Controller, or Machine? You Decide.

I’m a gamer. I love games of all kinds, board games, card games, smartphone games, or even an intense game of manhunt.

But the kinds of games most people are familiar with are video games. They weren’t always what they are today, in fact I bet you’ve played older games.  

Remember SNES? SEGA Genesis? How about Frogger? Pac-Man? If these sound familiar, you probably know a bit about the golden age of video gaming, and its origins. If we go back in time, the first known video game was called PONG. You know, hit the ball back-and-forth… Over time, companies such as ATARI, Nintendo, and SEGA began making consoles for gamers to use at home.

One of the greatest concepts that still exists today, and helped promote video gaming, was because of a character we know today. Now please don’t get into a riot, but Chuck E. Cheese’s was actually one of the first places for families to play arcade games, then known as “modern” video games. A man named Nolan Bushnell, the founder of ATARI, wanted to promote his company, but also wanted to fulfill his dreams of working with The Walt Disney Company. Bushnell thought that if he combined the concept of animated entertainment, food, and his “new” video games, he’d create his own mini Disney World. Forty one years later, Chuck E. Cheese’s is one of the last original arcades open throughout the world.

Now if being in a noisy, crowded, child-filled Chuck E. Cheese’s doesn’t sound appealing, then you’re in luck. Arcade chains, like Showbiz Pizza Place and Chuck E. Cheese’s, continued to thrive into the mid 1980s. Then the video game crash happened, and not many people were going to arcade establishments anymore. People didn’t want to go to the games. Instead, they wanted the games to come to them. This lead to many of the consoles and systems we know and love today.

From consoles to handhelds, and everything in between, the video game industry was booming by the beginning of the 1990s. Characters like Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Crash Bandicoot began emerging.

So, what can a college student who wants to play arcade games do? Well, there’s an exciting place coming to the Connecticut Post Mall this year, Dave & Buster’s. Whether you’re a coin pusher, racer, or skilled gamer, arcades can provide a fun social setting to enjoy gaming together.

This leads to one question: Joystick, Controller, or Machine?