Check to see whether you've still got what it takes to dominate friends or try early arcade games you've never seen before at The Strong Museum of Play.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

December 16, 2022

12 Slides

The Strong Museum of Play’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games in Rochester, N.Y. has nearly 200 arcade cabinets that span decades of game history.

While the collection naturally features obvious classics such as Space InvadersPac-Man, and Donkey Kong, it also includes a variety of racing games. Many of these mark key technological or cultural moments in the history of video games.

To showcase these racing games, the museum has opened an exhibit called Raceway Arcade, featuring video games and their mechanical precursor driving games.

The museum says: “Whether on back-country dirt tracks or brickyard speedways, Americans revel in the raw thrills of racing. Skillful drivers push cars to their limits, weaving through danger and dodging destruction. Electro-mechanical and electronic arcade racing games provide the adrenaline rush without the risk to life and limb. Raceway Arcade is about how dropping a coin, gripping a steering wheel, and pushing a pedal drove play onward.”

While solo speed runs in games like Out Run and Cruis’n USA are challenging, the most fun comes from driving head-to-head against friends, as in the two-player Daytona USA, three-player Super Sprint, and the two-player favorite Mario Kart Arcade GP.

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The museum’s arcade is so realistic that the machines require purchasable tokens to play, just like they did in the old days. The money collected keeps the games in working condition, according to the museum. Click through our gallery (for free!) for a look at some of the machines on display.

About the Author(s)

Dan Carney

Senior Editor, Design News

Dan’s coverage of the auto industry over three decades has taken him to the racetracks, automotive engineering centers, vehicle simulators, wind tunnels, and crash-test labs of the world.

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