Arcade lovers rejoice: Thanks to the Internet Arcade, the only reason you’ll need quarters from now on is for laundry.
The Internet Archive, a non-profit that backs up web pages from the olden days of the Internet (Here’s what Boston.com looked like in 1996, for example — look at that sleek design!), has launched a more recreational project: The Internet Arcade, a collection of arcade titles from the 1970s-1990s that anyone can play in their browser. According to the site’s description:
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.
Each game also comes with a Wikipedia-esque entry detailing the history of the title. After testing some of the games out, I seemed to have a few issues with some games reacting to my control inputs (or I’m just really bad at Street Fighter II), but the team offers a website for bug fixes, and are working hard to ensure the games are playable. As for me, I’m out of a job after playing the Three Stooges Game for 7 hours as “research” for this article.