Like the Library of Congress, but for Flash?
May 27, 2020 6:31 AM   Subscribe

With Flash about to disappear completely, is there any organization that is trying to save all the amazing games and sites that were built with it, and creating an emulator of some sort so they can still be played? I'm thinking especially of intricate games like the Submachine series. Or are they about to disappear forever?
posted by Mchelly to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Here’s an article from Feb. about one conservation effort that has saved some 38k flash games.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:35 AM on May 27 [4 favorites]


Ruffle ?
posted by sammyo at 6:45 AM on May 27


Flash is only going to disappear to the extent of no longer being compatible with new browsers. All the old browsers that ran it will continue to be able to run it, even as the operating systems within which those old browsers run continue to evolve without considering the needs of old browsers until a sufficiently old browser will no longer work within a new operating system.

Even then, you'll still be able to run Flash, in an old browser, under the latest version of whatever operating system it's compatible with, inside a virtual machine, hosted on any new operating system. This will remain possible forever, even if it ends up requiring multiple levels of virtualization; and the performance hit from the required degree of hardware virtualization is always going to be less than the performance gain of the new VM hosting hardware compared to Flash-game-era hardware.

So no, there's no technical reason for old games to disappear, only social reasons. And one rather effective way to guard against the deleterious effects of those is to toss a bit of financial support to archive.org.
posted by flabdablet at 7:13 AM on May 27 [5 favorites]


But the old browser → old OS → VM path may take longer to start than the hankering to relive the Yetisports experience lasts. So you'll always be able to run it, but it will become a less casual experience

Any flash game that relies on a backend server — even for a simple high score — will die when that server goes away, though.
posted by scruss at 8:36 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Rhizome Artbase has spent the last few years developing Webrecorder, a tool for archiving Flash media (among other formats). The Electronic Literature Organization is making of this tool among other strategies (such as screen recording and archiving of complete systems) to ensure literary works developed in Flash have an afterlife.
posted by media_itoku at 3:48 PM on May 27


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