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arcade video games | 3rd grade+

Learn about the golden age of arcade games, and create a retro game of your own.


What do you think of when you hear “video games”? You probably think of sitting at home and playing games on your TV, using a console or on your computer. But back in the 70’s and 80’s, most people played their video games by the quarter at the local arcade. Check out some of these iconic games from the golden age of arcade video games.

Pong was one of the first video games, introduced by Atari in 1972. It is a simple tennis game, but don’t let that simplicity fool you! I suggest you start on easy.

Space Invaders is an alien game introduced in 1978. It was an immediate hit and became the highest selling video game until…

Pac Man is a maze-based game and is widely believed to be one of the greatest video games of all time. Its success lead to sequels, TV shows, and a permanent place in pop culture history.

Donkey Kong featured some familiar characters. You play as Jumpman, who is trying to save his girlfriend, Pauline, from the evil Donkey Kong. Jumpman would eventually be renamed Mario.

Learn about the first video game consoles and the popularity of old school arcade games.


Arcade games are easy to play and understand, because they were designed to be played standing in an arcade, maybe with a line of people waiting to play behind you. Inspired by the simple fun of these old school arcade classics, design your own arcade game.

  • What will be the theme of your game? Will it be based on a sport like Pong, in space like Space Invaders, in a maze like Pac-Man, or somewhere new?
  • Will your game be inspired by one you’ve played before? Will you remix one of these classic arcade games?
  • How will your gameplay work? Will you need buttons, arrows, or mouse controls?

Need more inspiration? Check out this online arcade of games designed by people like you!


You can make your game using any programming site, app, or language you want!

If you don’t have one in mind, consider using MakeCode Arcade, a programming website that focuses on retro arcade-style games. Watch this video to get started, and be sure to check out these helpful tutorials.

Be sure to add your game to the KID arcade when you’re finished! Send your files or links to us at