The earliest amusement arcades were called "penny arcades." They were opened in the nineteenth century. Penny arcades had game machines called "bagatelles", which were like billiards and pinball. Penny arcades were popular at amusement parks and fairs until around the 1950s. Around this time, the penny arcades were often replaced by more modern games of chance and skill. An example of the new machines were shooting galleries.
Videos were introduced in amusement arcades in the late 1970s. These were most popular during the early 1980s. Arcades became popular with young people. Many video arcades began closing in the late 1990s, as the technology of home video game consoles began to rival and eventually exceed that of arcade games. However, video arcades remained popular in Japan, where they are called game centers.
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Amusement arcade Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.