The Internet Arcade lets you play 900 classic games online

3 Nov 2014

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Frogger enthusiasts can relive those countless hours spent in front of a giant arcade cabinet as hundreds of classic coin-operated games from the 1970s through to the 1990s are now available to play via a web browser.

The Internet Arcade has been released as part of the JSMESS (or JavaScript Mess) project, which seeks to emulate hundreds of home computers and other devices via the JavaScript language. Leading the arcade initiative has been Jason Scott, who while working on JSMESS found himself wondering if arcade games could also be emulated.

“I decided to futz around with our build environment (which, it must be absolutely stressed, the other JSMESS team members built, not me), just to ask the question, ‘And how hard would it be to build arcade games, anyway?’,” wrote Scott on his blog. “It turned out to be easy. Very, very easy.”

Scott has cautioned that some of the games aren’t in perfect condition, pointing to scaling and controller issues. 

“But damn if so many are good enough. More than good enough,” the tech historian and sometimes filmmaker asserted. “In the right browser, on a speedy machine, it almost feels perfect.”

Excited gamers should proceed with caution, however. The website it not always easy to connect to, and there have been some problems getting some of the games to launch. The Internet Arcade is, though, a work in progress, and Scott has taken to Twitter to invite other programmers to help improve the service.

Arcade machine image via Shutterstock 

Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com