The Internet Archive has made around 900 classic arcade games from the 1970s to the 1990s available to play online for free as part of its Internet Arcade.

Atari, Capcom, Nintendo, and Sega games are all available on the platform, which emulates the arcade games using the JavaScript Multi Emulator Super System (JSMESS) software package.

Mozilla Firefox is the recommended web browser to play the games, but all modern web browsers are capable should be capable of playing the likes of Blaster or Frogs, albeit with slightly varied results.

The Arcade was announced with little fanfare on the blog of JSMESS developer Jason Scott, so said he hoped that people would find some of their old favourites to play while others might use the archive for research and creative purposes.

He said:

“So then begins the question that I ask myself more and more in this endeavor: Now What?

“Obviously, a lot of people are going to migrate to games they recognize and ones that they may not have played in years. They’ll do a few rounds, probably get their asses kicked, smile, and go back to their news sites.

“A few more, I hope, will go towards games they’ve never heard of, with rules they have to suss out, and maybe more people will play some of these arcades in the coming months than the games ever saw in their “real” lifetimes.

“And 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.”

The Arcade is the latest project in the Internet Archive’s mission to preserve computer and video game history, just as they have long archived web pages.


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