May 12, 2012

Unknown: Arcade history of the 2000s

Awhile ago, when I was just first collecting examples of how cocooning the society has become in the past 20 years, I posted on video game arcade revenues, 1977 to 2002. It shows the collapse of one of the many public spaces for young people (although the shift has affected all age groups).

The data came from an academic article, and are now nearly 10 years out of date. There isn't a follow-up on the author's website, and after an hour of googling using one of his sources, I didn't find anything new. But that wasn't exhaustive, and I didn't use Lexis-Nexis or try every search word.

So there's a little project for anyone who wants it -- what were the revenues in the US for arcade video games from 2003 to 2011? Try Lexis-Nexis if you have access (all college libraries do), or use his sources: "Amusement & Music Operators Association, Nintendo, PC Data, NPD, Veronis Suhler, Vending Times (1978-2001)." He adjusted for inflation by converting figures into 1983 dollars.

Post on your blog and I'll link here. Or just post comments intermittently as you come across the data.

Obviously the downward trend has only continued, but it would be nice to have numbers. And it would be worth looking for any exceptional periods -- based on the rest of the culture, I'd expect a halt or a small upward blip of arcade popularity during the mid-2000s. Isn't that when GameWorks was at its height? And the DDR kind of games too? We can't say for sure unless there are data to plot along with the first 25 years' worth.

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