Internet Archive launches Handheld History Collection

March 19, 2018 // 10:56 a.m.

Tags: #handheld #internet-archive #jason-scott #lcd-game #mame #retro-computing #retro-gaming #vintage-computing #vintage-gaming

The Internet Archive, in its continuing mission to offer up everything in the world directly in your web browser, has announced the launch of in-browser emulated physical games, providing an outlet for work carried out by the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME) development team.

A not-for-profit group dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the world's information, the Internet Archive started to offer in-browser emulation of classic software back in 2013 with the launch of the Historical Software Archive. Since then the group has been building up its offerings, including arcade games, de-fanged malware, and the Amiga Software Library - and now it's making the move into emulated hardware, too.

'For a number of years, the MAME team has been moving towards emulating a class of hardware and software that, for some, stretches the bounds of what emulation can do, and we have now put up a collection of some of their efforts here at archive.org,' explains Jason Scott, software archivist, in the launch announcement. 'This collection of emulated handheld games, tabletop machines, and even board games stretch from the 1970s well into the 1990s. They are attempts to make portable, digital versions of the LCD, VFD and LED-based machines that sold, often cheaply, at toy stores and booths over the decades. We have done our best to add instructions and in some cases link to scanned versions of the original manuals for these games. They range from notably simplistic efforts to truly complicated, many-buttoned affairs that are truly difficult to learn, much less master.'

The Handheld History Collection is live now, with highlights including Parker Brothers' classic Merlin, Coleco's attempt at a home Pac-Man game, and Tomy's film tie-in Tron.


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