Long ago, arcade shows were much bigger than they are now, which was due to the arcade market itself being much bigger than it is today. What would it have been like to visit one of these shows at the height of the golden age? Thanks to some footage that has been posted to the internet from the AOE convention in March 1982, we get a pretty good idea – many new games, ideas and tons of people there to check it all out. I haven’t seen any footage like this before and it makes me wonder how much more video from expos like this are out there. In checking on the website, it looks like all of this comes from a program in the 80’s called Wired In which covered different technological trends from that decade, which of course means we get to see plenty of arcade stuff.
Some gems you’ll see in the 1st video from the convention (Wired In #24) – a young and shaggy Eugene Jarvis(pictured right) checking out Robby Roto; an interview asking about how Robby Roto might compare to Pac-Man;Zaxxon when it was new; Pac-Man pinball; a cool plexiglass cabinet used to show off how to switch games out(give me something like this with some LEDs to spruce it up further); the dual screen setups used on games and more.
I can’t embed the video here but here are various links showing the whole event:
Wired In Raw #25 (More Robby Roto with Jay Fenton, Pac-Man merchandise, a kids motorcycle racing game called Babydromo which is kind of cool; interview with a booth guy asking about Pac-Man Fever, showing off the small table-top Pac-Man games)
Wired In Raw #26 (More convention interviews, including a Garrett Vandenburg who talks about the science behind attract modes; talking with an operator about the earnings at an arcade back then)
UPDATE: If you search “Wired In” on that website you can find many other videos from them, including this one showing some people playing various games in an arcade back in ’82. Also here is one where they are at CES ’82 and 12 min in they show the Coleco arcade which was at the show with a pretty awesome setup. It’s a nice treasure trove of footage worth watching when you find the time.
[Via KLOV Forum post]