If you were around in 1984, you remember what a big deal the launch of the Macintosh was and how the machine forever changed home computing. Its graphical user interface was the first gaming experience for many, and it seemed revolutionary, regardless of how rudimentary most of the games seem nowadays. (I myself once had an Amiga 2000 with a screamin’ 2MB of RAM, which at the time was really something).
Now, the Internet Archive’s very first collection of emulated Macintosh software lets you experience (or re-experience), all from your browser window, the days when a mouse navigating a small black-and-white screen was mind-boggling.
Many of the Mac’s early classics are here: Frogger, Space Invaders, Dark Castle, Airborne, Lode Runner, along with plenty of non-gaming software, including an entire MacOS System 7.0.1 compilation loaded up with programs like MacPaint and Microsoft Word.
If you grew up using the original Mac, playing around on the emulated software is a trip down a pixelated memory lane filled with frogs dodging semi-trucks and poisonous snakes. If the original Mac is new to you, the emulator gives you a visceral sense of the early days of personal computing and gaming. The games are often impossible and inscrutable, but ultimately endearing.
And as archivist Jason Scott, the man in charge of the Mac project told Wired, “Software is culturally valuable. It’s important to be able to access it, as you could with a book or a movie.”
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Space Invaders to kill.