A collection of 900 games have made out of arcades, past cartridge-based compilation, beyond x86 emulators, into the Internet Archive's digital library.
Classics such as Golden Axe and Paperboy now have a permanent home on the Internet, as the two arcade hits have been added to what's being called the Internet Arcade.
"The game collection ranges from early 'bronze-age' video games, with black and white screens and simple sounds, through to large-scale games containing digitized voices, images and music," states the collection's description.
Video game enthusiasts have long suffered through buggy ports of classic games that struggled to relay more than nostalgia in their Flash-based homes on the Internet. But the Internet Archive's preservation of classic video games goes beyond a Flash port, by using JSMESS.
JSMESS is a descendant of MESS and the popular MAME, which is software that emulates the wide variety of arcade machines on which game where once ran.
Jason Scott, a member of the JSMESS, didn't help build the emulator, but he discovered just how easy it is to bring MAME arcade games into the new emulator.
"And how hard would it be to build arcade games, anyway," Scott says he asked himself before attempting to port MAME games into JSMESS. "It turned out to be easy. Very, very easy."
Several months of porting classic video games resulted in the collection of 900 games that are now preserved in the Internet Archive's Historical Software Collection.
Bringing the arcade games into JSMESS was said to be easy, but not all of the games came over to the archive free of problems. Vector-based games were especially difficult, while other arcade titles were built around controls that don't translate well to keyboards and gamepads, according to Scott.
"In the right browser, on a speedy machine, it almost feels perfect," says Scott. "The usual debates about the 'realness' of emulation come into play, but it works."
Scott says he expects most people to check out a few games for the nostalgia, before getting frustrated and heading back to their typical Internet watering holes.
Frogger and Pacman may be obvious choices for many. But before leaving the 900-game-archive frustrated, give some of the following games a try: Burger Time, Elevator Action, Paperboy, Golden Axe, OutRun, Pitfall, Street Fighter II, Superbike, and Track & Field.