The Internet Archive now houses more than 10,000 Amiga programs and games

Want to play some Amiga games in your browser? Just visit the Internet Archive..and cross your fingers.

The Internet Archive is full of surprises.

The group recently added a huge trove of Amiga games and programs to its collection, bringing the total to more than 10,000. Even better: It’s all available to you for playback and use in your browser. The non-profit library of digital culture first added Amiga software to its catalog in 2013.

The size and scope of the new collection compared to what was added in 2013 isn't quite clear, but there’s a lot of new stuff that was only recently added—4and an overwhelming amount of games. Archivist Jason Scott unofficially announced the new Amiga collection late last week on Twitter. An official announcement about what, exactly, the new collection contains should be coming soon.

You can run almost all of the content right in your browser thanks to a JavaScript Amiga emulator called ScriptedAmigaEmulator by Rupert Hausberger (naTmeg on GitHub).

While the collection is a wonder to behold, the quality for each emulation varies in terms of usability. I couldn’t get past the intro screen on Batman: The Movie or Bubble Bobble, for example, but Double Dragon worked.

I also had an easier time getting the emulator to work in Chrome than Firefox. Your experience may vary.

As this is a library, you are not limited to just playing these games in your browser. You can also download the original files and use them on your PC with an appropriate emulator.

Why this matters: Computer history is still an emerging discipline and probably isn’t taken as seriously as it should be. As we saw with the end of GeoCities in 2009, when a popular piece of digital culture disappears it often means we completely lose access to it. That’s a concern as more of what we do ends up stored on computers. Attempts to preserve items like games and popular applications is not only great for nostalgia, but serves as a record of what personal computers were like 10, 20, or 30 years ago.

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Ian Paul

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