The 1980s was a great decade for many reasons. This era represented the end of disco, the emergence of the Buppie culture and the era of MTV. The 80s was also a great time in history because of the rise of video games.
The video game market exploded in 1978 when Space Invaders started to show up in bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and pool halls all across America. This game was firmly established in less than six months after its release. Once Space Invaders got the ball rolling other games started to follow its lead. Space Invaders will always be remembered as the video game that changed the world of gaming forever. It will also be remembered for saving the video game industry that was fading away when it was released.
Other coin operated games such as Asteroids and Centipede hit the market. When they did they too were well received. However, by 1980 Pac Man was released and this game helped to literally transform the video game industry. Pac Man was such a big hit during the 1980s that it literally created “hysteria” within society. Everybody was caught up in “Pac Mania” or “Pac Man Fever”.
Pac Man was so popular that people made hit songs, toys, cartoons and sold various forms of merchandise based off of its characters. This video game was the first to establish itself as a major franchise title that used mascots and main characters for promotion and endorsements. References to Pac Man also appeared in movies and books.
To this day, Pac Man still remains the top video game of the 80s. It sold close to 7 million units. Even though many of the top rated games in modern times outsell Pac Man; they will never be as popular or make an impact in the way this gamed did during the 80s.
Other games of the era such as Donkey Kong, Galaga, Frogger, Dig Dug, Q’bert, Joust, Pole Position, Moon Patrol and Defender helped to set the stage for many of the video games that are being enjoyed in modern times.
About 1983 the coin operated video games began to go into decline and by 1987 they were no longer popular. Video game consoles had emerged around 1983 and by the late 1980s they dominated the market. People no longer went out to the arcades and local bowling alleys to play games they did so in their own homes. The 1980s was the golden era for video games because many of the titles that were created during that time completely revolutionized the video game industry.