Monday, June 4, 2018

Flash Memory: Preserving Web Games For The Future

Description: A tombstone with a tuft of grass with the
symbol for the program Adobe Flash wedged in it at an angle.

Last year, Adobe announced that it was slowly phasing out support for its Flash player plugin, with support ending in 2 years. Most modern browsers are phrasing out support of Flash before then.

That also means that over 20 years of game and interactive animation history could vanish with it. Enter the Archive Team. Ben Latimore writes about the project in a Medium piece, saying:
"... Flash is arguably the largest treasure trove of unpreserved gaming history today... Spanning literal[ly] tens of thousands of games over a period of twenty years, the library of Flash games, breadth and depth, outlives any other game console on the market. 
When your browser no longer has the plugin to run those games, what happens to them?"
The answer the Archive Project has advanced is BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint, which serves as the connection for preservation of Flash game collections. Latimore runs a discord server for the project here where you can download the current archive, make requests and discuss the project itself.

His Medium post about his effort to prevent thousands of games from disappearing is worth a read, so check out the whole article here.

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