Arcade Video Game Collections

The arcade video game collection of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games® (ICHEG) includes more than 140 arcade games from the earliest classics to the latest specialty products being manufactured today.

Early Games, 1971–1978

ICHEG’s arcade video game collection includes examples of the most significant games from the early years of the video game arcade business, starting with the first game, Computer Space (1971), created by Nolan Bushnell for Nutting Associates. Other significant items include Bushnell’s and Al Alcorn’s breakthrough-hit Pong (1972); Gunfight (1975), the first game to use a microprocessor; Atari Breakout (1976), designed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak; Fire Truck (1978), a two-player cooperative game; and Football (1978), the game that popularized the use of the trackball.

Golden Age Games, 1978–1985

This portion of ICHEG’s arcade video game collection includes more than 50 of the most important games from the era. Highlights include Space Invaders (1978), the game that launched the video game boom; Pac-Man (1980) and Ms. Pac-Man (1981), two of the most popular video arcade games of all time, and Baby Pac-Man (1982), a hybrid of video games and pinball; Donkey Kong (1981), Shigeru Miyamoto’s classic that introduced the Mario character (then known as Jumpman); the space shooters Galaxian (1979) and Galaga (1981); Missile Command (1980), the emblematic Cold War game; Centipede (1980), the first arcade video game designed by a woman; I, Robot (1983), the first game to use three-dimensional polygon graphics; and Eugene Jarvis’s Robotron: 2084 (1982) and Defender (1990).

See also “I Have Pac-Man Fever Again.”

Vector-Based Graphic Games, 1977–1985

ICHEG owns more than a dozen of the most important vector-based graphic arcade games. Key titles include: Space War (1977), the first vector-based game; Lunar Lander (1979) and Asteroids (1979), the latter of which is Atari’s best-selling arcade game ever; Ed Rotberg’s Battlezone (1980) and Red Baron (1980), which introduced three-dimensional images from a first person perspective; Tempest (1980); Star Wars (1983); and a cockpit version of The Empire Strikes Back (1985).

See also “Gone, But Not Forgotten: Vector Games.”

Simulator Specialty Games, 1985–Present

ICHEG’s collection of simulator specialty games includes numerous large games such as Sega’s Galaxy Force (1988) fighting game in which the player sits in a cockpit that rotates 360 degrees; piloting games like S.T.U.N. Runner (1989) and F-15 Strike Eagle (1991); racing games like Sega Virtua Racing (1992) and Super GT (1997); and others, such as Namco’s pedaling game Prop Cycle (1996), and unique items like the pioneering holographic game Time Traveler (1991).