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Classic video games now playable on the Wayback Machine

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Remember Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Frogger?

The classic arcade video games of the early days are available to play again online on the Wayback Machine, the library for the Internet.

BBC News reported on Dec. 27 that hundreds of classic video games have been cataloged on Archive.org with thousands more on the way.

Initially the games can be played without audio, but that will change soon. And, the console platforms are currently limited to the Atari 2600, the Atari 7800, the Magnavox Odyssey, ColecoVision and the Astrocade.

But, according to archivist Jason Scott, "In coming months, the playable software collection will expand greatly."

Because most of the original consoles were worn out by constant use, fell into disrepair or were upgraded over the years since 1977, many of the game titles have been difficult to play online without emulation software. Archive.org technology allows users to play with just an updated browser.

According to the Wayback Machine webpage listing the initial collection, "Through use of the JSMESS emulator system, which allows direct access to these programs in your browser with no additional plugins or settings, these games can be enjoyed again. Simply click on the screenshot or "Emulate This" button for each individual cartridge, and on modern browsers the games will just start to run."

Playing the most popular classic arcade video games online has been made more difficult due to copyright claims, licensing agreements and complicated plugin software.

But, as the next generation of classic games rolls out on the library, those difficulties should be much more easily overcome, probably leading to a nostalgic resurgence of the genre, despite the retro, simplistic look and feel.

No word yet on when, or if, the ultimate classic gaming console, the Nintendo NES (responsible for the popularity of Super Mario Brothers and hundreds of other titles) will be made available.

But it's safe to say that, soon enough, kids of all ages will once again be dismayed by a heartbreaking on-screen message:

"Thank you Mario! But our Princess is in another castle!" -Toad

What do you think? Do you remember the classic games? Will you play them again?

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