Since 2013, the Internet Archive has provided access to old console games, arcade titles and even MS-DOS classics like Oregon Trail. Internet Archive curator Jason Scott explained how and why the non-profit preserves history by making sure games from the past aren’t lost as we move on from old hardware and software platforms.
“The thing about computer software history is that it is both adored and ignored,” he said, comparing how we preserve software to how we preserve old film. “For decades, people would throw out floppies containing classic games without a second thought.” While there are museums where you can see old hardware and software as exhibits (Scott called out the Computer History Museum in Mountain View as a particularly good example), these limit access to those who can actually make it to a physical location, which doesn’t take advantage of the fact that software doesn’t have to remain trapped in a particular computer.
By abstracting games away from their old consoles and PCs, the Internet Archive is ensuring that the experience itself can live on through emulation. READ MORE: How Game Historians Are Keeping Your Favorite Bits From Being Lost Forever | TechCrunch