/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

Throwback photos from old video game arcades

Here's a collection of classic photos from arcades in America, London and even Iran.

Lance Cartelli
John Cougar Portrait Session
1 of 25 Getty Images

John Cougar

In the 1970s and '80s, arcades were some of the most popular spots. 

Here's John Cougar, known today as John Mellencamp, posing in front of a Q-Bert arcade game in 1983 in Detroit. 

Boy Playing Video Game in Arcade
2 of 25 Bettmann/Getty Images

Boy vs. Krull

Hardcore gamer Jason Dallaire, 11, tries his skill against Krull in Seattle in 1983. 

Video Arcade
3 of 25 Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images

Playing Pac-Man in Times Square

Remember those barrettes? A girl plays Pac-Man at an arcade in New York's Times Square in 1982. 

Steven Spielberg
4 of 25 Getty Images

Personal arcade

For the rich or famous, arcades were anywhere you wanted them to be. Here, director Steven Spielberg poses with a Maneater arcade game at his Universal studios office in 1975.

Video Arcade
5 of 25 Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images

Playing Pac-Man

Some kids had to get creative to see the Pac-Man screen at this New York arcade in 1982. 

Club Hell, Steve Strange, 1980
6 of 25 Universal Images Group

Steve Strange playing The Invaders

Steve Strange, a Welsh pop singer, is photographed playing The Invaders at London's Club Hell in 1980. 

US Festival arcade
7 of 25 Getty Images

Us Festival arcade

At the 1982 Us Festival in Devore, California, this casually dressed man seemingly has a whole arcade to himself. 

Denver Post archives
8 of 25 Denver Post

Pac-Man was serious business

Things get heated at a Pac-Man machine in 1983.

Video Battle Centre
9 of 25 Getty Images

Video Battle Centre

Here's the entrance to the Video Battle Centre, a London arcade, in 1979. 

Friends posing at the arcade
10 of 25 Getty Images

Hanging out at the arcade

A group of friends pose in a Chicago arcade in 1987. 

Playing at the amusement arcade
11 of 25 Getty Images

Playing at the amusement arcade

Gamer Ian Pollard plays Defender at a London arcade in 1983. 

Atari International Asteroids Tournament
12 of 25 Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries

Atari International Asteroids Tournament

A woman watches someone play at the Atari International Asteroids Tournament in San Francisco in 1981. 

Gaming in Colorado
13 of 25 Seth Perlman/Getty Images

Gaming in Colorado

Gamers Brien Mynheir (foreground) and David Weaver play Defender at a Golden, Colorado arcade in 1983. 

Playing Pac-Man at Pier 39
14 of 25 Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries

Pac-Man on the Pier

Photographed by Ira Nowinski, here's a young man playing Pac-Man at San Francisco's Pier 39 arcade in 1981. 

A full house playing Pac-Man
15 of 25 Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries

A full house playing Pac-Man

Nowinski then zoomed out to snap a group of youths playing simultaneously at the same Pier 39 arcade. 

arcade-santacruz
16 of 25 Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries

Gathering to play in Santa Cruz, California

An arcade in Santa Cruz, Calif., in 1981. 

arcade-ataricomp2
17 of 25 Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries

Inside the Atari International Asteroids Tournament

Here's an overhead shot of the Atari International Asteroids Tournament. 

Chuck E. Cheese arcade
18 of 25 Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries

Chuck E. Cheese arcade

In 1981, Nowinski took this photo of young people playing Wizard of Wor and Star Castle at a Chuck E. Cheese in San Mateo, Calif. 

Galaxian and Astro Blaster
19 of 25 Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries

Galaxian and Astro Blaster

At the same Chuck E. Cheese, there was also Galaxian and Astro Blaster along with Wizards of Wor and Star Castle. 

Kids in a video game arcade
20 of 25 Getty Images

Kids playing at the arcade

Kids in 1982 play various arcade games, such as Asteroids and Pac-Man. 

Games Hall
21 of 25 Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images

Gaming in Iran

At an Iranian arcade in 1994, a boy plays a Sega racing game. 

Pick your favorite
22 of 25 Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries

Pick your favorite

At the Santa Cruz arcade, there were multiple games to play, such as Star Castle, Scramble and Asteroids. 

Up close with Dragon's Lair
23 of 25 Dave Buresh/Getty Images

Up close with Dragon's Lair

Here's a classic photo of the Dragon's Lair arcade game in July 1983. 

A young man's game? Maybe not.
24 of 25 Duane Howell/Getty Images

A young man's game? Maybe not.

Arcade games aren't just for young people. Check out these two business-suited men playing Pac-Man in Glendale, Colorado in 1985.

A Cummings attraction: Why all the fuss about some guy playing 'Tempest' at the Funland video parlor
25 of 25 Colin McConnell/Getty Images

Burton Cummings playing Tempest

The Guess Who's singer, Burton Cummings, plays the Tempest video game at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto in 1982.

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play in 2021

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play in 2021

40 Photos
Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

More Galleries

Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

68 Photos
Redesigned Kia Sportage: Movin' on up

More Galleries

Redesigned Kia Sportage: Movin' on up

8 Photos
2023 Chevy Corvette Z06 reveal: Big Nasty's sequel revs to 8,600 rpm

More Galleries

2023 Chevy Corvette Z06 reveal: Big Nasty's sequel revs to 8,600 rpm

73 Photos
2023 Land Rover Range Rover SV: Something special

More Galleries

2023 Land Rover Range Rover SV: Something special

29 Photos
Refreshed Tesla Model S has a Knight Rider steering wheel

More Galleries

Refreshed Tesla Model S has a Knight Rider steering wheel

16 Photos
2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

More Galleries

2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

63 Photos