The Internet Archive has launched games from some of the earliest home game consoles like the Atari and the Astrocade. You can find games such as Pacman, Frogger and Space Invaders on there, with more on their way.
Because of the bespoke nature of these old school games and the consoles, it became almost impossible to play these games as they fell into disrepair. Communities of gamers developed read-only versions, essentially images of the games that could be played on a normal PC.
However there can be complicated legalities surrounding these forms of counterfeiting. What the Internet Archive is doing still falls in a legal grey area, “Making these vintage games available to the world, instantly, allows for commentary, education, enjoyment and memory for the history they are a part of”. The Internet Archive uses the JSMESS emulator system to provide access to these games for anyone and everyone to run in their browser without having to download any plugins.
The 5 most downloaded games since the launch:
- Tank Attack (1981)
- Chopper Rescue (1982)
- Locomotive (1981)
- Sonic Invader (1981)
- Air Sea Attack (1981)
Which game will you be playing this winter? Tell us below!