The following are examples of some of the 50 to 70 culturally or technologically significant arcade games that are included in VIDEOTOPIA. All photographs on this page are taken from VIDEOTOPIA, and are copyright 1996, The Electronics Conservancy.

Computer Space, Nutting Associates, 1971. Designed by Nolan Bushnell, member of the VIDEOTOPIA Advisory Panel, Computer Space was the first commercial arcade videogame.
Pong, Atari Inc., 1972. Using the profits from Computer Space, Nolan Bushnell formed Atari and tapped Al Alcorn, member of the VIDEOTOPIA Advisory Panel, to construct this first commercially successful arcade videogame.
Breakout, Atari Inc., 1976. Designed by Atari's fortieth employee Steve Jobs, aided by videogame enthusiast Steve Wozniak. The two later went on to found Apple Computer, using parts "borrowed" from Atari to build their first prototype.
Gunfight, Konami/Bally/Midway., 1975. A two-player game set in the old-west and the first game to utilize a microprocessor.
Space Invaders, Taito/Bally/Midway, 1978. The first blockbuster videogame. Space Invaders was the first game to appear outside of arcades and bars and reach a mainstream audience in places like restaurants and ice-cream parlors.
Football, Atari Inc., 1978. The first true video sports game, Atari's Football was created by Dave Stubben from a game project called X's and O's that was begun by Steve Bristow before he started Tank. Football amazed players with its fast action and complex simulation of a team sport, and it also marked the introduction of the Trak-Ball.
Lunar Lander, Atari Inc., 1979. Illustrating principles of Newtonian laws, Lunar Lander was the first Atari game to incorporate vector display technology. Atari's vector display system was designed by Howard Delman. Vector graphic display technology was in part conceived for the Apollo space program in an attempt to create a system capable of simulating the moon landing.
Asteroids, Atari Inc., 1979. Designed by Ed Logg, Asteroids was a huge commercial success which established videogames as a lasting entertainment media. At the height of its popularity in 1980, a Newsweek article pointed out the fact that Asteroids' audience included large numbers of adult professionals who released workday stress playing the game during their lunch breaks. The game's sequel, Asteroids Deluxe (pictured), was released the following year.
Battlezone, Atari Inc., 1980. Featuring the first truly interactive 3-D environment, Battlezone so impressed the United States Armed Forces that they commissioned Atari to build specially modified and upgraded versions for use in tank training. The Electronics Conservancy has secured one of these modified games, and it will be displayed in VIDEOTOPIA in the near future.
Berzerk, Universal Research Laboratories/Stern Inc., 1980. Just passing a Berzerk machine was a new experience for most people. The machine actually spoke! Few people had experienced voice-synthesis at the time, and it made quite an impression. Because digitization was so expensive, the sentences spoken by Berzerk shared a vocabulary of only 30 words.
Defender, Williams Electronics, 1980. Designed by Eugene Jarvis, member of the VIDEOTOPIA Advisory Panel, Defender was the first mega-hit by current arcade industry powerhouse Williams Electronics. It was also the first game to feature an artificial "world" in which game events could occur outside the on-screen view presented to the player.
Pac-Man, Bally/Midway, 1980. Licensed from the company Namco, Pac-Man was based on an ancient Japanese folk-tale. The game was so successful in Japan that it actually caused a Yen shortage. Pac-Man also took America by storm, appearing on the cover of Time Magazine as well as spawning a Saturday-morning cartoon and a hit song.
Missile Command, Atari Inc., 1980. Designed during the 1979 presidential race, Missile Command (originally to be called "Armageddon") was a clear reflection of America's fear of nuclear conflict.
Donkey Kong, Nintendo Ltd., 1981. Designed to salvage a huge inventory of "Radarscope" arcade games (a bland shoot-em up game that did not sell well), Donkey Kong featured brilliant game play and a whimsical storyline about a giant ape and a curious character referred to only as "Jumpman." It would not be until after the game's design and construction that Jumpman would receive the now-famous name "Mario."
Centipede, Atari Inc., 1981. Designed by Ed Logg and Dona Bailey, Centipede was the first arcade game from a woman designer. Colorful graphics and ingenious game play made Centipede the first game to attract more female fans than male.
Tempest, Atari Inc., 1981. The first game to utilize a color vector display, Tempest featured surrealistic 3-D wireframe graphics. The game was inspired by a dream of the designer's and was an instant hit. Interest in Tempest has remained strong as evidenced by the recently acclaimed Tempest 2000 for the Atari's defunct 64-bit Jaguar multimedia system, the popular Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, and personal Computers.
Warlords, Atari Inc., 1981. A multi-player variation of Breakout, Warlords' design leads players to discover that cooperation is the only way to progress to the higher levels of the game and encourages them to develop rules and strategies of their own.
Robotron: 2084, Williams Electronics, 1982. Designed by the same team that created Defender, Robotron: 2084 went through many changes from concept to reality. The game was originally called Robot War: 1984 and spanned many screens which would scroll in all directions. At one point, the control scheme consisted of a joystick and a trak-ball. Gameplay was ultimately confined to a single screen, and two joysticks were used for input. Original Robotron: 2084 design sketches and scripts are on display in VIDEOTOPIA's "Design" area.
Tron, Bally/Midway, 1982. Designed in conjunction with the Disney feature film, the game became integral to the plot of the movie and eventually influenced its final look as well. The product of a competition between game-design theories, the videogame Tron actually out-grossed its film counterpart. Its 1983 sequel Discs of Tron (pictured) was originally planned to be a part of the first game. Due to time and technological constraints, Discs of Tron was released as a separate game following the original's success.
Star Wars, Atari Inc., 1983. Designed by Mike Hally, programmed & developed by Greg Rivera, Norm Avellar, Eric Durfey, Jed Margolin, & Earl Vickers. The basic game engine for Star Wars was converted from a 2-year old space game project called Warp-Speed, which was designed to develop 3-D image capabilities. Star Wars originally used a joystick. The Flight Controller was designed by modifying the controller created for the military version of Battlezone.
Dragon's Lair, Starcom/Cinematronics, 1983. Created by Rick Dyer and animated by Don Bluth, Dragon's Lair was an interactive film that became the first released game to utilize laser disc technology. Dragon's Lair's visuals fascinated all who saw it, and the game achieved an immortality that no other laser disc game was able to match.
I, Robot, Atari Inc., 1983. Originally titled "Ice Castles", I, Robot was the first game to feature 3-D polygon graphics. It even allowed you to just "doodle" with the polygon objects rather than actually play the game. Although I, Robot was not a success, it was the direct ancestor of today's most sophisticated polygon racing and fighting games. Only 1000 I, Robots were ever produced. 500 stayed in North America, and 500 were reportedly exported to Japan.
Gauntlet, Atari Games, 1985. Designed by Ed Logg, Gauntlet was one of the first machines from Atari Games. It was a hit because of its detailed graphics and exciting theme of maze exploration. Gauntlet is a perfect illustration of the direction that future games would take - environments that multiple players could experience.
Daytona USA, Sega, 1994. Utilizing the sweeping virtual "camera" movements, smooth animations, and multiple camera angles developed in its predecessor Virtua Racing, Daytona USA introduced the world to games that truly began to look and feel like reality. The game also perfected the art of the multi-player experience as up to 4 Daytona "twin" cabinets could be linked together to enable as many as 8 people to participate in the same game. Daytona completely redefined the racing genre with its spectacular graphics and real-world physics.
Alpine Racer, Namco, 1996. Produced by the company that created Pac-Man, Alpine Racer used a 32-bit processor to create its stunning polygon images. Its innovative input device, combined with its 50 inch projection display immersed players in its artificial world. Seldom has a game's control mechanism been in such strong harmony to the gameplay.

"State-of-the-Art", 199X. Because what is high-tech one day is often "old-hat" the next, the newest (non-violent) videogames will be rotated into VIDEOTOPIA. Racing Simulators like Sega's Super GT, and also Namco's Tokyo Wars are examples of the type of experience VIDEOTOPIA has in store for its visitors.

Each info-pedestal for each game in VIDEOTOPIA offers at least 3 times more information than what is presented for each game here!

VIDEOTOPIA and The Electronics Conservancy are registered trademarks of The Electronics Conservancy, Inc. All rights reserved. All photos (c)1996 The Electronics Conservancy. All videogames, characters, brand names, and trademarks are the properties of their respective owners.