Flash is universally despised today, but it was an important part of the internet for a long time, providing websites with interactive content before modern web standards could take over. Flash games in particular were massive, some even spawning genres like tower defence, but this digital history will be lost forever when Flash kicks the bucket completely. So, how can we save it?
Not all games will be lost to the electronic ether once Flash goes. For example, Adam Saltsman’s Canabalt has self-contained mobile and PC versions. But there are thousands, if not tens of thousands that sit forgotten on portals such as Newgrounds and Kongregate.
A fellow by the name of Ben Latimore, recognising there was no proper archive of Flash content, took it upon himself to organise an effort to download every SWF game ever.
Some of those have been incorporated into a program called “Flashpoint”, described as a “preservation project, museum, and one-click-to-play collection in one box”.
However, Flashpoint currently only covers 850 or so titles. And there’s a lot more than that floating around the internet.
So, if you’re up for it, Latimore has a one terabyte archive available for download, called “Flashfreeze”, that should keep even the most addicted player of Flash games busy for thousands of years.
I don’t think Latimore will get every game, but hopefully, he can track down a fair chunk and preserve them, even if some of them can’t be played.