33¢ Video Games
Celebrate the Century – 1980s
Issue Date: January 12, 2000
City: Kennedy Space Center, FL
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
The subject of video games received the most tallies during voting for the Celebrate the Century topics of the 1980s. It’s easy to recognize why. Teenagers spent hours at arcades attempting to beat each other’s best scores on games like “Space Invaders” and “Pac-Man.” Over 20 billion quarters were fed into the games in 1981 alone.
Commercial video games first appeared in arcades during the early 1970s. “Pong,” released in 1972, is recognized as the first arcade game. But the number of video game players did not begin to grow rapidly until the early 1980s. Popular games like “Donkey Kong,” introduced in 1981, contributed to the success.
Home video game machines turned living rooms into personal arcades. Popular arcade games could be played by all family members without leaving the house. Atari was the most popular manufacturer of video games and home units during the 1980s.
There has always been controversy surrounding video games and how much children should be exposed to the subjects many games are based on. Critics say children spend too much time (and parents too much money) playing the games. The effect of violent scenarios on kids has led manufacturers to assign ratings to match the games with children’s ages.