If workplace productivity is down today, it isn’t necessarily because Democrats are sulking and Republicans are elated following the mid-term elections. There’s a good chance it has something to do with the Internet Archive creating an Internet Arcade packed with more than 900 classic arcade games that you can now play on your web browser for free.
The titles available will be instantly familiar to anyone who spent hours dropping quarters into hulking, glowing machines at the mall. Paperboy, Qbert, Street Fighter II, and Out Run are all there, along with lesser-known (for obvious reasons) games like BurgerTime, Hangman, and Root Beer Tapper.
Obviously, a lot of people are going to migrate to games they recognize and ones that they may not have played in years. They’ll do a few rounds, probably get their asses kicked, smile, and go back to their news sites.
And my hope is that a handful, a probably tiny percentage, will begin plotting out ways to use this stuff in research, in writing, and remixing these old games into understanding their contexts.
It will be interested to see what, if any, research comes out of this. In the meantime, happy gaming.