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Hundreds of classic arcade games online
01:00 - Source: CNN

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The Internet Arcade has more than 900 games

They range from the 1970s to the 1990s

The head of the project said he hopes users explore unknown games

CNN  — 

Lovers of vintage arcade games just got an early holiday present.

The Internet Archive has released more than 900 video games spanning the 1970s through the 1990s, according to PC World. The site, which is a nonprofit founded to build an Internet library, now has the Internet Arcade, where gamers with a taste for nostalgia can go at it for free.

“The game collection ranges from early ‘bronze-age’ videogames, with black and white screens and simple sounds, through to large-scale games containing digitized voices, images and music,” a posting on the site says. “Most games are playable in some form, although some are useful more for verification of behavior or programming due to the intensity and requirements of their systems.”

That means fans can relive the fun of Galaga, Pac-Man and the like.

Jason Scott spearheaded the project and wrote in his blog that there are some kinks with some of the games, given that they were designed to be played on consoles and such. “But damn if so many are good enough. More than good enough. In the right browser, on a speedy machine, it almost feels perfect. The usual debates about the ‘realness’ of emulation come into play, but it works.”

Scott said he knows that many will probably be drawn to their favorite games, but it is his hope that fans will go beyond that.

“A few more, I hope, will go towards games they’ve never heard of, with rules they have to suss out, and maybe more people will play some of these arcades in the coming months than the games ever saw in their ‘real’ lifetimes,” he writes. “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. Time will tell.”