The Royal Armouries in Leeds is now home to four retro arcade games. The games have been selected for their links to our wide-ranging collection – from medieval armours, Japanese swords to the Second World War.
You can try your hand at piloting a Second World War plane in 1942, playing Arthur the medieval knight in Ghosts ‘N Goblins, hand-to-hand combat in two-player game Street Fighter, and being a legendary samurai warrior in Samurai Shodown.
Arcade games became popular in the 1970s, spurred on by the smash hit ping-pong video game PONG released in 1972. Space Invaders, released in 1978, proved to be an even greater success. During the 1980s video gaming became a worldwide industry, with popular games including Pac-Man, Battlezone and Donkey Kong and the advent of two-player fighting games, such as Street Fighter.
However, advances in home video game console technology followed on, and eventually overtook, arcades. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, networked gaming across the Internet had also appeared, replacing the need for a venue for head to head competition, once provided solely by arcades.
Video games grew from simple moving block graphics to a global industry of enormous proportions, now played by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Even today, there is still a keen interest and nostalgia for these earlier games.
Blogger: Angela Clare, Researcher