The Internet Archive, a nonprofit that means to build a comprehensive “Internet library,” hosts a variety of data, from texts and audio to software and archived Web pages. Just as a brick-and-mortar library serves as a depository for rare books deserving of preservation, the Internet Archive wants to keep a record of the Internet that will educate students and historians.
If any of those students and historians enjoy playing old-school arcade games from thirty years ago, they’re in luck: the Archive has posted Internet Arcade, which it describes as 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.”
There are more than 900 games available, from long-forgotten relics like Astro Fighter and Battle of Atlantis to bona fide classics like Super Pac-Man and Street Fighter II. Clicking on any of the game titles will lead to a new screen that makes the game playable in-browser.
Even if you’re not into gaming, Internet Arcade provides a startling view of how far technology has progressed in three decades: Whereas it once took a cabinet full of electronics to display a game with rudimentary graphics and sound, today’s games can place the player inside hyper-real worlds.
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Image: Internet Arcade