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Missing the days of Pac-Man and Frogger? Retro gaming is making its return

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Today's video games may boast photorealistic graphics, surround sound and worldwide multiplayer support, but many still long for the days when games were simple. You know, when a game didn't require more than a joystick and a button or two? Perhaps it's no surprise, many are buying cabinets for the home, including replicas of classic coin-operated ("coin-op") games and pinball machines. "Simple games that are'quick to learn but difficult to master' have a special addictive quality that we tried for when designing them with our limited graphic palette," recalls Nolan Bushnell, who established Atari and Pong in the '70s, and shortly thereafter, founded Chuck E. Cheese (smartly, as a distribution channel for Atari games). "Often games are for turning off your mind and entering kind of a Zen state."

Bring home the golden age of arcade gaming — with a modern twist


TL;DR: Get a taste of nostalgia with the Polycade Home: Plug and Play Mounted Arcade for $3,899, a $100 savings as of Aug 1. The golden age of arcade video games (the late 1970s to the mid-1980s) died with the birth of home video game consoles. It's tragic, as there's truly no video game console that feels as authentic and wistful as playing Pac-Man or Street Fighter at the local arcade. While there's no guarantee genuine arcades will ever make a comeback -- especially not in the age of coronavirus -- there is a way you can bring that nostalgic vibe into your home. It's called the Polycade and it's designed with all the functions you'd want in an arcade machine, but with the form of a modern-day piece of art. If the arcade machine was first designed in 2020, what do you think it would look like?

This arcade system giveaway is your shot to build the ultimate game room


TL;DR: Enter to win The Ultimate Home Arcade Polycade Giveaway as of March 11. Despite the rise of the home video gaming console -- PS5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, etc. -- nothing can replace the wistfulness of arcade video games. Kids today will never understand the feeling of playing Street Fighter or Pac-Man at the local arcade. However, there is a way to bring a bit of that nostalgia into your home. It's called the Polycade, and for a limited time, you can enter to win your own. Minimal, elegant, and Instagrammable, the Polycade is what the arcade machine would look like if it were designed today.

20 DIY kits, puzzles, and games to help you pass time this winter


There are a few ways you can spend your time indoors this season -- binge-watching everything you possibly can, endlessly scrolling social media, or actually staying away from screens for a while. We vote for the latter. If you're at a loss for how to spend time away from screens, allow us to share 20 different games, puzzles, and DIY kits to help you out. Most are even on sale for a limited time. A more challenging and amusing take on the classic puzzle, this one challenges your STEM skills as you piece it together and results in a usable Bluetooth speaker.

Extend raises $16 million for AI that optimizes extended warranty offers


Extended warranties are big business. A report from Research and Markets estimates the segment will reach a whopping $50.2 billion by 2026. There's unsurprisingly merchant interest in the opportunity, but most sellers lack the know-how and bandwidth required to pursue it. That's where Extend comes in. The San Francisco-based company, which offers what it describes as a full stack extended warranty program, today announced that it's raised $16.4 million in funding led by GreatPoint Ventures with participation from Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Lightbank, and Shah Capital Partners, along with ex-CEO of Equifax Rick Smith, Katerra CEO Michael Marks, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins, and Village Global cofounder Erik Torenberg.