TATE is the Japanese term for an arcade game where the monitor is configured vertically, as in 3:4 ratio.
(Trivia: Since it's a Japanese word, I think it's pronounced with 2 syllables, like "Tah tay", and not like us Westerners would make it rhyme with "mate" or something)
Where traditional TV's were 4:3 and new TV's are 16:9, where they are longer horizontally than vertically, TATE means it is longer vertically than horizontally.
The last 2 games we played are a perfect example of the difference between the two.
Out Zone (TATE), 3:4 aspect ratio
R-Type Leo (YOKO (aka horizontal)), 4:3 aspect ratio
The "problem" comes when playing TATE games on a horizontal monitor, the image becomes small and letterboxed, like this:
Noooooo!!! Huge black lines! Wasted screen space! It makes my brain hurt from the inefficiency of it :)
So the way to fix this, is of course to turn your monitor sideways :)
When I had a desktop computer setup with an enormous (and heavy) 21" CRT, I would actually do this and rotate my monitor before playing TATE games like Dodonpachi, etc. It was awesome because the game perfectly fit my screen.
Now that I'm on a laptop with I believe a 16:10 screen, it's a little different.
I tried rotating it just now. Aside from the fact that it's awkward to rotate a laptop (you have to balance it at an angle), LCD's just don't have the same viewing angles as CRT's do. So I noticed it looked kind of weird, like it was washed out on the right side of the screen. I'm assuming because the LCD is intended for a horizontal viewing angle, so when you TATE it, the light beams aren't hitting your eyes at the intended angles and it looks weird.
That's really unfortunate.
So I guess I'll just keep playing with the letterbox for now. But one day maybe I'll set up a MAME cabinet with a nice CRT.
So A-Lin, do you TATE?