The first popular arcade games were amusement park games

The first popular “arcade games” were early amusement park midway games such as shooting galleriesball 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