Art of the Arcade: Website Collects 70/80s Game Design

Do you have Pacman fever? Two hands on the lever? If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, during the golden age of video game developement, you’ll remember that sore thumb, fuzzy eyed feeling from playing now classic hits like River Raid, Pacman, Pong and Pitfall until the early hours of the morning. Or, maybe you got your gaming start on the floor of the 70s arcade, gazing at the glow of the pixilated but exciting screens of the era. Either way, you’ll remember the advertisements and graphics those games brought along with them… near florescent rainbows of color dominating the design genre.

The advertisements and literature might not be the first thing you recall when you think of video games, but a cool site called The Art of the Arcade is diligently working to help us remember. They’ve got a large and growing collection of advertising imagery from an era before the video game graphics alone could sell a title. Currently Atari and Nintendo are well represented on the site, but other companies are steadily being added. Look for a lot of retro typography from brochures, video game cartridge covers and bright illustrations… all removed from their normal surroundings so we can appreciate them for the art that they are.

Below: logo and screenshot for Starcade, an American game show where contestants competed against one another by playing arcade games. The series originally aired on WTBS from 1982–1983. To watch Starcade visit www.starcade.tv.

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