Hi Nicol,
Great question and it brings up alot of nostalgia.
Usually the cabinet games were a single stand up model. It had a moniter inside the cabinet, and usually a piece of glass seperated the screen from the outside but not all of them were like that. On a flat surface sticking out from the cabinet in front of the moniter were the controls. These had a start button, and usually a joystick and some buttons. Depending on the game there can be as many as six or more buttons. Other controller types were the steering wheel, pistols or machine guns, track ball, fighter jet joysticks, and a control type called a "paddle" which is just a spinner type of controller that was used mostly for games like pong and arknoid. There were also the bigger cabinets that were shaped like tables (I have only seen this type of cabinet for pac man), and the kind you can sit in and drive with gas and brake pedels, and even a pedel for changing gears. There was also a game where you literally sat on something like a mortorcycle. It had the gas and brakes in the handles, and could also rock to the sides to lean into the curves. Lastly there was the periscope types which were popular for a brief time for a submarine game and a tank game. Pac man only had the one joystick and a few start buttons. Most of the arcade games had extra controls for up to four people to play at one time, while others allowed you to switch off between players. When I could see, there were arcades on every mall and corner, and it seemed like every store on mainstreet had at least one near it's entrance. They usually cost a quarter ( an american dollar is 100 cents, so a quarter is 25 of that), and the real popular ones cost fifty cents. I am sure they cost a bit more now. As for accessibility, I am not sure how many of them were feasible to play. I was never a big fan of street fighter style games when I could see, so I guess I am not much help in that department. The coin ops games are probably dwindling away now, simply because the game consoles are so powerful, and relatively cheaper in the long run to own and play indefinitely, it just doesn't seem worth it to justify spending the cash. When it comes to game length. Most of the time the magic number was three lives. Of course you could increase your play time by getting really good and earning extra lives, but you had to put the money and practice, practice, practice. Some other games gave you a time limit, and of course, if you get enough points you get extended time. It all depends on the game. The games I can remember playing are, in no particular order: pong, breakout, space invaders, asteroids, pac man, Mrs. pac man, Pac man junior (this was kind of a pacman/pinball hybrid), battlezone, death race 2000, sprint, outrun, afterburner, zaxxon, donkey kong, Super Mario Brothers, dragons lair (this was actually a cartoon game), star trek, star wars, time pilot, galaxians, galga, gorf, Mr. Do, dig dug, Operation:wolf, area 51, Dungeons and dragons, gauntlet, missile command, centipede, pole position, defender, moon landing, time cop, space ace (another cartoon game), star castle, tron, bad dudes, double dragon, ninja gaiden, the simpsons game, the ninja turtles game, robotron, smash TV, moon patrol, rygar, final fight, jackal, frogger, ghosts and goblins. I remember playing many others, but I forgot their names. Man I blew alot of money when I was a kid, lol. Where to find arcade cabinet games now is a good question too. In america there is probably some malls that still have arcades, and I know on the jersey shore on the boardwalks there is still plenty of arcades as well. The pplace to go for arcade cabinet games however is disney at a place called quest. It is a five level building that is like one big giant arcade game, and there is one floor, I am told, that has nothing but all the arcade cabinets they can cram in there...and they are all free. Of course I am sure the cover charge probably gets you, but just being able to play the games free seems like a cool idea. I am planning to take my kids there next year so hopefully I can see first hand what it is like.


al


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