Clocked

Play 100s of classic Flash games immortalised in the Internet Archive

With Adobe ending support for Flash Player at the end of 2020, the Internet Archive is preserving a ton of the internet’s most iconic Flash games.

In a time before internet culture was mainstream in politics and everyday life, caveman meme videos such as The Ultimate Showdown of Ulitmate Destiny and Loituma Girl dominated the net. There were also Flash games that populated primary school computer rooms all across the world, including Crimson Room and Scary Maze Game (title is non-indicative, I promise).

When Adobe announced back in July 2017 that it would discontinue support for Flash – which will end on 31 December 2020 – there was much concern over a considerable portion of internet history disappearing.

Badger Flash games
Image: Jonti Picking

However, the Internet Archive – known for the Wayback Machine – has curated a collection of hundreds of Flash experiences. An in-development emulator known as Ruffle powers the collection.

While projects made past 2013 do not work in the emulator, the vast majority of highly influential animations and games work just as you remember them on your old CRT monitors and floppy disk PCs.

Though Flash powered many creative projects on the web in the 2000s due to its ease of use, the format has aged horribly thanks to cybersecurity concerns and the lack of touchscreen support. It has already been a decade since Steve Jobs published an open letter criticising the platform and removed support for it on iOS.

Nowadays, all major web browsers have moved over to HTML5 which has touchscreen support. While internet culture is constantly shifting and changing, the preservation of these projects allows for us to show our children and grandchildren what shitty memes we looked at back in our day.

In a time where COVID-19, climate change, and the ever-increasing pressures of adulthood weigh us down, the fact that our childhood still exists in some form provides some comfort. Until you crash for the 20th time in Helicopter Game, that is.

Check out the collection here.