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Matt Barton's picture

The Return of the Coin-Op?: GameTap and Xbox Live Arcade

To the average Armchair Arcader, it's a self-evident truth that classic old games like Joust, Galaga, and Frogger are just as fun to play (if not more so) as the latest "AAA Title." The popularity of retrogaming as a whole has recently surged in both the PC and console markets, and more and more people are discovering (or re-discovering) the joys of classic games. However, as any child of the 80s knows, a big part of the thrill associated with retrogaming isn't just the games, but rather the competitive atmosphere of the arcade. In these dimly lit dens of digital delinquency, a generation honed their hand-eye coordination in exhilerating coin-op competition. These deftly-wristed heroes fought for personal glory--specifically, the glory of entering their initials into the high score tables kept by the arcade machines. It's certainly no coincidence that the arcade machines one still finds alongside pool tables and dartboards in smoky taverns are classics like Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga: These games are designed to be played in social environments.

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