The Internet Archive has ensured that those strange yet wonderful Flash games and animations from the early 2000s won't be lost to the annals of time, after the software is officially laid to rest at the end of the year.
Adobe is discontinuing support for Flash on December 31st, 2020. Its reasons for doing so is that the software is no longer the one and only vital cog in the machine to allow users to view animations, games, and videos on the internet. In the early days of YouTube, the website relied on Adobe Flash so that its millions of YouTube accounts could watch and upload videos around the world. However, alternatives like HTML 5 and CSS 3 sprang up in open-source platforms, and offered a more efficient plugin for YouTube and other similar sites. And, with the advent of smartphones, Flash just wasn't what it used to be, and users surely but steadily declined.
Unfortunately, Adobe's act of rolling back support for Flash would have led to the disappearance of those classic Flash games and animations you used to play in IT lessons and after school. This chunk of history would have been irreversibly lost, owing to the fact that there will be no new version of Flash or compatibility patches for older versions. But, the non-profit The Internet Archive has established a collection of these Flash games, animations, and videos so that they have a home for the foreseeable future. Like rescuing down-on-their-luck dogs, if the dogs barked cultural references to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Odds are that there is one that fits that description, dredged from the depths of the internet.
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The Internet Archive's mission is to "provide Universal Access to All Knowledge," which includes watching Leekspin and hundreds of other Flash artefacts, with a small summary of their content. It is possible through the Flash emulator, Ruffle, on the site, which means users don't need a Flash plugin, nor do they need to worry about downloading a dodgy emulator and exposing their machines to viruses. You know, the whole issue that Flash faced in the first place.
Anyone with a free account is able to upload media to The Internet Archive, and the nonprofit encourages users to add to the growing collection of Flash games. At the time of writing, there are 604 items, with classics like Helicopter Game, Badger, The World's Hardest Game, and All Your Base Are Belong To Us.
Featured Image Credit: The Internet Archive
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