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The earliest amusement arcades were called "penny arcades", and were opened in the nineteenth century. Penny arcades had game machines called "bagatelles", which were like billiards and pinball. Penny arcades were once popular at amusement parks and fairs, but by the 1950s, such coin-operated amusements were generally replaced by more modern games of chance and skill such as shooting galleries.
Videos were introduced in amusement arcades in the late 1970s and were most popular during the early 1980s. Arcades became popular with young people. Many video arcades began closing in the late 1990s, as the technology of home video game consoles began to rival and eventually exceed that of arcade games. However, video arcades remained popular in Japan, where they are called game centers.