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Proof that arcade games were evil!

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On 6/24/2019 at 2:56 AM, GoldLeader said:

I think I've only ever seen 2 or 3 knock-offs of arcade games in my life.

 

Lakeside Amusement park in Denver had one that was called ASP and it was a knock off of SLITHER.  I revel in this fact, because  I've never even seen A real Slither machine, ever.  Yet I bought the ColecoVision Roller Controller (Track Ball) and it came with Slither, but I've never heard of anyone who ever saw that actual game in an arcade...

 

Also I saw a game labeled JEUTEL in France in 1984 that was a Berzerk knock off IIRC...I don't know what Jeutel means (or if it is a company name), but I see a lot of internet images of (what look like) Multicade (MAME probably) cabinets from overseas labeled that way...

 

The knock-offs or clones, as I called them, I more often encountered at the "mom and pop, hole in the wall" arcades. Space Invaders and Galaga were the two biggest victims of this.

 

Never heard of Asp, Slither was definitely a rare bird in the arcades. GDI, maker of Slither, were from the Chicagoland area - which I reside. I never ran across a Slither, that I recall, but ran into more Red Alert (another GDI game) frequently. I'm arcade collector... it took me years to frankenstein a Slither together from squandered parts. Your last statement is why I love the Colecovision; a bunch of oddball arcade titles, some I still haven't the real deal - Exidy Victory. 

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10 hours ago, Flojomojo said:

At least in the early days, they genuinely seemed to be about amusement and competition -- you could play for a long time on a single quarter if you were good. The "quarter suhat demanded payment for playtime didn't come along til later. I feel like Atari's Gauntlet was one of the first, if not the original. 

True enough in the early days.. It was the 90's when I learned of the ugliness surrounding the business.

 

9 hours ago, Flojomojo said:

Kids today won't ever know the thrill of getting to play their favorite arcade game AT HOME ... with UNLIMITED FREEPLAY

We always thought it to be a big event, bringing a classic arcade port home. I had several 8-bit systems at the time and when combined with my buddy's equipment, even more. So we had wide coverage.

 

We always kept hoping for mame quality and were always disappointed, but still found the home ports cool. I always wondered why they didn't take home games and do arcade ports, like of Flight Simulator or Horizon V or anything else.

 

By the time MAME had come around I already ditched my highschool buddies and stuff. So it was a rather solitary experience. But I can easily imagine the excitement of watching the classic games "come alive" for real. Finally! We'd be having parties and everything and all that.

 

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It all worked out for the better I suppose. It was great to be there during the real golden age. And then having the chance to relive it all decades later. On reliable hardware without the bulk and constraints of monstrous cabinets. Ahh well.. it's all good.

 

I got to wondering about how the purchasers/owners of the games would handle the servicing. It isn't too bad driving around town to empty the quarter boxes. But how would mom'n'pop handle replacing transistors on the monitors? Or loose chips? Surely even new arcade cabs had their share of electronic failures.

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🤬I played a Ms. Pac-Man at a bowling alley once with a hacked turbo button.  But all it did was speed up everything; including the ghosts.

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17 hours ago, Keatah said:

We always kept hoping for mame quality and were always disappointed, but still found the home ports cool. I always wondered why they didn't take home games and do arcade ports, like of Flight Simulator or Horizon V or anything else.

I was not always disappointed.  We knew that our home systems were weaker than arcade machines of the same era, and set our expectations accordingly.    Many games made a good attempt at ports, and that was good enough

 

It was the ones that clearly didn't try,  like 2600 Pac-man, that were disappointing

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2 hours ago, pacman000 said:

Fry tried; he just didn't understand what made the arcade game great.

 

Tod Frye: "I know you wanted a birthday cake, but cake has eggs in it, so I made you a fried egg. Why are you crying? It has a candle sticking out of the overcooked yolk. It's basically the same thing. Would you like some scrambled eggs instead? Why are you making such a big deal about this? I just don't get it!"

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2 hours ago, zzip said:

I was not always disappointed.  We knew that our home systems were weaker than arcade machines of the same era, and set our expectations accordingly.

 

We had real computers, like Apple II or C64, and computers were supposed to be more powerful and faster than some dumb videogame. Simplistic and incorrect as it may be - that was our reasoning.

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14 hours ago, Keatah said:

It all worked out for the better I suppose. It was great to be there during the real golden age. And then having the chance to relive it all decades later. On reliable hardware without the bulk and constraints of monstrous cabinets. Ahh well.. it's all good.

 

I got to wondering about how the purchasers/owners of the games would handle the servicing. It isn't too bad driving around town to empty the quarter boxes. But how would mom'n'pop handle replacing transistors on the monitors? Or loose chips? Surely even new arcade cabs had their share of electronic failures.

Plenty of times those constraints made the game better. I doubt anyone would prefer to play Star Wars on the 2600 over a cockpit arcade cabinet. ;) That same thing goes for now - most games that major manufacturers release have some kind of gimmick to them to make them stand out from what you would have with a home game. Which is why most are variations of a light-gun or driving game. Same goes for the appeal of pinball - no matter how good virtual pinball looks or tweaked the physics are, they still can't hold a candle to the real thing. 

 

Then there's the social gaming aspect of arcades. As I type this, I've got a couple of kids playing the new TMNT arcade game with their dad (the game sits right in front of my desk). That makes for a memory that will stick out more than playing on the couch, I would think :P

 

On servicing, it boils down to whoever owns the game is responsible for fixing it, but there is a support network in place. While the buyer could go and fix it themselves, as long as the game was in warranty, they could call their distributor, who would help them out according to whatever the policy is. I'm not sure what kind of after-sales support they had back in 1982, but these days it's pretty solid on anything new (free tech support over phone/email; part coverage can be terrible at 90 days, although Raw Thrills is currently replacing all PCs in their machines for 3 years). You also can contact the manufacturer depending on the issue, especially if it's new game that has some new tech in it that's failing. I believe Atari was pretty good about getting back to people and had a solid technician network, at least by what I've read.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Then there's the social gaming aspect of arcades. As I type this, I've got a couple of kids playing the new TMNT arcade game with their dad (the game sits right in front of my desk). That makes for a memory that will stick out more than playing on the couch, I would think :P

 

Maybe. But my most memorable gaming moments were made at home with home consoles and my buddies. Not forgetting the late-nite solitary game and self-teaching sessions.

 

I believe the best memories are made at home on your own hardware. One of the reasons being that home consoles and computers get more usage.

 

To be fair, I had many many great times at the arcade too.

Edited by Keatah
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Posted (edited)

Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of good gaming memories from home and nostalgia for those times when I was exploring game compilations on floppy disks or playing with friends. But you can make some unique ones at the arcade, whether that's making new friends on playing a game with a stranger (happened many times on everything from fighting games to dancing games - in some cases, people met their future spouse), or showing off your gaming skills in public (early type of Esports, I guess). 

 

I recall playing through Star Wars Trilogy arcade on my break back in 1999 - I worked at an arcade, and myself and a few of the other employees would regularly compete on certain machines. I learned that game, Crisis Zone and SF Rush 2049 inside and out. One day I was playing through Star Wars and I was doing so without getting hit. There was one moment where the screen changed to black as it loaded the next scene, and I saw in the reflection of the plexi a crowd of people standing around watching me play. Apart from suddenly becoming aware of the watchers, it was a great sensation that I was able to be one of those guys who makes a game look easy. Right after I finished my game, a kid jumped on and was shot within the first 20 seconds. I couldn't have made that memory at home. Same with playing with strangers on Gauntlet Legends or other 4-player games. I have one of those newer Pac-Man Battle Royale games at my arcade, and every weekend there's a group shouting and laughing as they play that one.

 

As another example of the "show off" nature of arcades, some people take it up a notch, but regardless, showing off at the arcade is far more satisfying than it is at home with no one watching or over a stream that doesn't give you the live feedback of a crowd:

 

 

Edited by Shaggy the Atarian
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To say nothing of Dance Dance Revolution. Seeing someone really good at those games is akin to watching street performers. Fun!

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Posted (edited)

 

23 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

As another example of the "show off" nature of arcades, some people take it up a notch, but regardless, showing off at the arcade is far more satisfying than it is at home with no one watching or over a stream that doesn't give you the live feedback.

 

Indeed. My Gyruss antics were stuff of legends. Too bad they didn't have portable videocameras and youtube back then.

 

23 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

But you can make some unique ones at the arcade, whether that's making new friends on playing a game with a stranger (happened many times on everything from fighting games to dancing games - in some cases, people met their future spouse), or showing off your gaming skills in public (early type of Esports, I guess).

I did.

 

 

Edited by Keatah

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4 minutes ago, Keatah said:

 

Indeed. My Gyruss antics were stuff of legends. Too bad they didn't have portable videocameras and youtube back then.

 

Likewise with my time on Star Wars or Crisis Zone. I'm certainly not able to play those games the same anymore. But you don't always need the event to be recorded for personal validation. Well, unless you're trying to dethrone the King of Kong or some other high score :P

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31 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Likewise with my time on Star Wars or Crisis Zone. I'm certainly not able to play those games the same anymore. But you don't always need the event to be recorded for personal validation. Well, unless you're trying to dethrone the King of Kong or some other high score :P

Ohh no no. I am simply better and more honest than KoK. As are many of us. KoK is a lot show. I'm fairly certain every hobby and pastime has a goof like him.

 

I wish I had some of my early arcade activities saved on video. Alas all I have (think I have) are bw photos of the local shops. I never really went after hi-scores too much aside from Missile Command which I can seemingly play for hours on end, or days w/pause. My Gyruss scores amounted to making it to Earth several times.

 

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17 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Same goes for the appeal of pinball - no matter how good virtual pinball looks or tweaked the physics are, they still can't hold a candle to the real thing. 

 

True, but I do have to say that Pinball FX2 in VR is on another level..  closest you can get to an actual pinball machine on a videogame system

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On 7/1/2019 at 4:52 PM, Keatah said:

Ohh no no. I am simply better and more honest than KoK. As are many of us. KoK is a lot show. I'm fairly certain every hobby and pastime has a goof like him.

 

I wish I had some of my early arcade activities saved on video. Alas all I have (think I have) are bw photos of the local shops. I never really went after hi-scores too much aside from Missile Command which I can seemingly play for hours on end, or days w/pause. My Gyruss scores amounted to making it to Earth several times.

 

One way I've captured the moments is to take a photo of the players who get the top score and put their pics on the machine with the score (pic attached...I have a photo of the 3rd place person, just need to go over to Costco and print it)

 

On 7/2/2019 at 8:06 AM, zzip said:

 

True, but I do have to say that Pinball FX2 in VR is on another level..  closest you can get to an actual pinball machine on a videogame system

Yeah, it can get close, and it's a bonus that Stern has supported it a few times with their newer tables...but real always wins :P

0703191048a_Film1.jpg

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On 7/1/2019 at 5:52 PM, Keatah said:

Ohh no no. I am simply better and more honest than KoK. As are many of us. KoK is a lot show. I'm fairly certain every hobby and pastime has a goof like him.

 

I wish I had some of my early arcade activities saved on video. Alas all I have (think I have) are bw photos of the local shops. I never really went after hi-scores too much aside from Missile Command which I can seemingly play for hours on end, or days w/pause. My Gyruss scores amounted to making it to Earth several times.

 

 

Cameras were around back then.  Surely a super star go getter like you has plenty of incredible back in the day photos you can share with us.  Right?  🏆

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Excellent thread, thanks OP for that video in the first post, never saw it and it opens ones eyes to what some route operators had to deal with back in the day.

 

pinball:  VR with its low persistent displays and virtual worlds really has made it a more fun experience though resolution is still too low (but still very playable). Virtual pinball as a whole really has matured in the last 18 months where physics improvements may not be perfect but the line is getting a bit more blurred.  Especially some of the PC VPX tables released in the past 6-12 months from the heavy hitter table authors/recreators!

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On 6/22/2019 at 12:17 PM, Turbo-Torch said:

I wish there was a copyright date at the end of this video. 

It looks like Leisure Time Electronics was active in about 1983...

 

I'm a bit late to this party, but I found:

 

Joseph CASSIOPPI v. Ross John DAMICO (Supreme Court of Alabama, 1988)
536 So.2d 938

 

Damico agreed to purchase certain game tables and game machines (hereinafter referred to as “games”) from Leisure Time Electronics, Inc.

Leisure Time represented to Damico that if, within 18 months from the date of purchase, the games did not yield a 100% return of the initial investment, they could be returned and Damico would be reimbursed the difference between the initial purchase price and the earnings up to the date of the return of the games. The games did not yield a 100% return within the time promised, and Leisure Time refused to repurchase the games as it had agreed to do. Damico sued Leisure Time, alleging breach of contract and fraud. Subsequently, he amended his complaint to add as defendants Cassioppi, who was president of Leisure Time, and Challenge Electronics, Inc. All assets, equipment, fixtures, and inventory of Leisure Time had been transferred to Cassioppi and Challenge Electronics. All defendants filed a motion to dismiss, with supporting affidavit, which was overruled on January 31, 1984.

 

Despite the fact that published court decisions are freely available public records (albeit not online), most people are unaware of them. Lots of interesting things can be found. 

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Look, anybody who's seen the landmark documentary "The Last Starfighter" knows that games are far from being evil.  They are tools for both assessing and recruiting people for the real thing.

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This is just the kind of crap that killed the industry (temporarily). In retrospect, there needed to be a market correction to trim the bloat out of the industry. 

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14 hours ago, ChildOfCv said:

Look, anybody who's seen the landmark documentary "The Last Starfighter" knows that games are far from being evil.  They are tools for both assessing and recruiting people for the real thing.

 

Landmark Documentary!   That's pure Gold!!

 

Haha!    ChildofCV,  you have made my day!   

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On 7/12/2019 at 12:38 PM, AtariWarlord said:

This is just the kind of crap that killed the industry (temporarily). In retrospect, there needed to be a market correction to trim the bloat out of the industry. 

Happens with every new industry. Some people see money, so they enter a market to make a quick buck. Then the market bites them. Too many quick-buck-makers, & the market bites everyone else too.

 

That gets me thinking. I wonder if Leisure Time had a Pac-Man clone... ;)

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