The Internet Archive is a non-profit dedicated to giving permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. God bless them because now they are giving us access to the best of arcade games from the 70s and 80s.
In a recent blog post, the Archive's Jason Scott revealed that it believes in Santa Clause and Christmas and Atari and Coleco and Magnavox and the right of mankind to enjoy 8-bit computer games for all eternity:
In an expansion of the Historical Software Collection, the Internet Archive has opened the Console Living Room, a collection of console video games from the 1970s and 1980s.
Like the Historical Software collection, the Console Living Room is in beta – the ability to interact with software in near-instantaneous real-time comes with the occasional bumps and bruises. An army of volunteer elves are updating information about each of the hundreds of game cartridges now available, and will be improving them across the next few days. Sound is still not enabled, but is coming soon. Faster, more modern machines and up-to-date browsers work best with the JSMESS emulator.
The main consoles covered are the Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Coleco ColecoVision, the Bally Astrocade, and Magnavox Odyssey 2.
The Atari 2600 was released in September 1977. The Atari 7800 was officially released by Atari Corporation in January 1986 having been originally announced in May 1984, to replace the Atari 5200 but the launch was held back by the sale of the company.
However, the 7800 would go on to compete with the NES and Sega's Master System.
The ColecoVision was released in August 1982 and was a second generation machine from Coleco. It managed to rack up an impressive looking array of 145 titles between 1982 and 1984, but it never managed to reach the heights of Atari and Nintendo during this golden period in console and arcade gaming.
The Magnavox Odyssey 2, known in Europe as the Philips Videopac G7000, was released in 1978. Magnavox was a recognized pioneer in video gaming, the first Odyssey being the firm home video game system to come to market.
By 1978, Magnavox was a subsidiary of Dutch electronics giant Philips' North American offices.
The Bally Astrocade was designed by a team at Midway, which had gone from an arcade gaming company to becoming a division of gambling powerhouse Bally. Bally sold the rights to the Astrocade to a third party that continued to deliver product until 1983. Like Midway's arcade system, the Astrocade was a bit of a computer graphics powerhouse.
The games are designed to run in a modern day browser. They don't have audio but that is coming, according to the Archive. For this act of supreme munificence, please donate to the Archive here, and volunteer here. They deserve your worship and adulation.