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An arcade game is a coin-operated entertainment machine, usually installed in public businesses, such as restaurants, bars, and particularly amusement arcades. Most common an arcade game is a video game, pinball machine, electro-mechanical game, redemption game, and merchandiser (such as claw cranes). The golden age of arcade video games lasted from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. While arcade games were still relatively popular during the late 1990s, the entertainment medium saw a continuous decline in popularity in the Western hemisphere when home-based video game consoles made the transition from 2D graphics to 3D graphics. Despite this, arcades remain popular in many parts of Asia as late as the early 2010s. The term "arcade game" is also, in recent times, used to refer to a video game that was designed to play similarly to an arcade game with frantic, addicting game play.
The first popular "arcade games" were early amusement park midway games such as shooting galleries, ball toss games, and the earliest coin-operated machines, such as those that claim to tell a person their fortune or played mechanical music. The old midways of 1920s-era amusement parks (such as Coney Island in New York) provided the inspiration and atmosphere of later arcade games. In the 1930s, the first coin-operated pinball machines were made. These early amusement machines were distinct from their later electronic cousins in that they were made of wood, also they did not have plungers or lit-up bonus surfaces on the playing field, and used mechanical instead of electronic scoring readouts. By around 1977, most pinball machines in production switched to using solid state electronics for both operation and scoring.