I’ve written about and/or mentioned the Internet Archive quite a bit over the years. The effort that they have put into preserving our pop- (and at times, not-so-pop-) culture deserves an incredible amount of commendation, as they serve as a repository for countless online books, films, radio shows, television shows, magazines, photographs, concerts, recordings, and so much more.
And now they’ve added a new collection to the site: The Internet Arcade!
Here’s the description, straight from the site:
The Internet Arcade is a web-based library of arcade (coin-operated) video games from the 1970s through to the 1990s, emulated in JSMAME, part of the JSMESS software package. Containing hundreds of games ranging through many different genres and styles, the Arcade provides research, comparison, and entertainment in the realm of the Video Game Arcade.
The game collection ranges from early “bronze-age” videogames, with black and white screens and simple sounds, through to large-scale games containing digitized voices, images and music. Most games are playable in some form, although some are useful more for verification of behavior or programming due to the intensity and requirements of their systems.
Yes, these are games that you can play, for free, directly in your browser. They appear to work best in Firefox, though any browser will, theoretically at least, work.
I haven’t had much of a chance to check these games out for myself, partly because of the “sinkhole effect”: I know once I start I might as well give up on getting anything else done for quite awhile. Nonetheless, it looks like a pretty amazing collection, and I can’t help but suggest that if you’re interested in spending some time playing these games or just seeing what they have to offer, you head right on over. All you’ve got to do is click here.
Once again, I simply have to say “kudos” to the folks over at the Internet Archives for really working hard at preserving so much of our shared cultural heritage alive online Thanks gang!