What Arcades Looked Like Before Video Games And The Internet

With the release of the Samsung Gear VR, the idea of an immersive video game that augments reality is literally reality, “VR” itself standing for “virtual reality.” While VR may be the way the future games, past generations weren’t always that fancy. 

Until the last fifty years, if someone wanted a diverting time with a video game, they couldn’t just pop open their Nintendo DS or Gameboy but instead visited the neighborhood arcade. When we think of arcade today, most of us probably get vivid pictures of Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Mortal Kombat, or even the Simpson game! However, in the mid- to early-1900s, arcades were something similar, but not what most of us would imagine.

Check out these pictures of a once-hotspot arcade called Wonderland in Kansas City, Missouri circa 1968 to see how what the past eras considered gaming.

Instead of housing video games, arcades back then featured “low-tech” mechanical games, many of which we can still find in arcades of today.

Pinball and Skee-Ball seem to be timeless classics, but when was the last time you played an automated penny bingo game? Fortune tellers still pop up from time to time in boardwalk arcades around the U.S., but most arcades no longer feature “games” like the “Voice-O-Graph” that record your voice and play it back to you.

While the technology and games of the past may had some significant facelifts, one fact remains oddly calming: hot dogs, popcorn, and soda reign supreme as timeless, all-American arcade snacks!