You may already be familiar with the Internet Archive, a non-profit organization dedicated to building a lasting library of the digital world. Last year its developers opened the doors on the Console Living Room, a browser-based selection of classic console emulators, and this weekend they’ve added the Internet Arcade — a selection of more than 900 fully playable, online arcade games from your misspent youth.
“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,” explains the blog post announcing the launch of the library. “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.” You should expect hitting one or two bugs along the way but the majority of the games will run with no issues.
One of the developers working on the project is Jason Scott, and he’s gone into more depth about the Internet Arcade and the work behind it in his own blog post. Scott hopes that the emulators will encourage others to get involved in the Internet Archive project: “My hope is that a handful, a probably tiny percentage, will begin plotting out ways to use this stuff in research, in writing, and remixing these old games into understanding their contexts. Time will tell,” he writes.