The Internet Archive Is Preserving Old School Flash Games
They seem horribly outdated now, but if you were a kid growing up in the 2000s, you’ll probably always have a soft spot for Flash games.
The software that supports the classic early internet games is being shuttered at the end of this year, but thankfully, there’s a plan to keep the content alive.
The Internet Archive — a non-profit digital library best known for its Wayback Machine — says that it will be moving to preserve Flash animations and games, rescuing an iconic element of early online culture.
Over 1,000 games and animations have already been saved by the Archive, and many of them, like ‘Peanut Butter Jelly Time’, ‘Badger’ and ‘All your base are belong to us’ are sure to ring a bell to people of a certain age. The organisation says that it will preserve the content so it plays as we remember, meaning you’ll still be able to get that nostalgia hit, even on browsers that don’t support the software.
The Internet Archive made the decision to preserve the old Flash animations in recognition of how important the software was for everyday internet users in the days of dial-up networks.
Like any container, Flash itself is not as much of a loss as all the art and creativity it held.
Flash provided a gateway for many young creators to fashion near-professional-level games and animation, giving them the first steps to a later career.
The move comes as Adobe plans to officially end support for the already-defunct Flash software at the end of 2020, having announced that they were shuttering the program in 2017. Over the past decade, most major internet browsers have moved away from Flash, starting with Apple in 2010, and Chrome, Edge and Safari following later by switching their default software to HTML5.
The Archive is using a beta Flash emulator called Ruffle to ensure the games are properly replicated on these browsers, and is calling on old Flash creators to bring their products to the Archive for preservation, although the Ruffle’s developers say it will likely only work on Flash products created before 2013.
It’s not known how many Flash products the Internet Archive ultimately plans to rescue, but it’s good to know that many of the classic games we wasted hours of our childhood on will be preserved for future generations.
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