The Internet Archive Now Lets You Play 900+ Classic Arcade Games In Your Browser


Looking for a nice little burst of nostalgia on this fine Saturday evening? Don’t feel like going through the process of installing MAME and lurking for ROMs, but still want to get your classic arcade on?

Back in December of last year, the Internet Archive (in their effort to backup the entire digital world, one bit at a time) launched a “Console Living Room” that offers up browser-friendly emulators for a pretty shocking number of consoles from the 70s/80s. Want to play some Atari 2600? Here you go. Sega Genesis? Yup!)

This weekend, they’ve introduced a whole new category: The Internet Arcade. 900+ classic arcade games, no quarters required.

It’s all a part of the JSMESS project, an effort to emulate as many systems as possible… in Javascript, of all languages. As they put it, they want to make “computer history and experiences” as embeddable as “movies, documents, and audio”.

Do they all work seemlessly? Nah — you’ll almost certainly spot a bug or two. Many are missing sound. But it’ll get better in time — and for now, just the fact that they got MAME working in a browser, sans any hefty plugins/runtime environments, is damned impressive.

One of JSMESS’ developers, Jason Scott, outlined the work he put into the Arcade-centric leg of the project in a blog post here.

(Pro tip: it can be a bit weird to figure out a game’s controls in MAME some times. The 5 key lets you insert a coin; the 1 key is usually the Player 1 start button. Arrows are usually used for directional stuff, with CTRL/ALT/SPACE used for the three primary buttons. Beyond that, you’ll have to mash buttons a bit to figure it out [or hit TAB to dive into the key configurations])