13 Of The Best Websites That Feel Like The Old Internet

13 Of The Best Websites That Feel Like The Old Internet

Remember when the internet was fun? The web was like the Wild West — a vast new world ready to be discovered and explored. Today, though, the “internet” is corporate, stale, and boring by comparison. But these sites are none of those things. You wont find tweets or apps here. Instead, these 13 sites feel a bit like the old internet: Quirky, innovative, and different.

Cameron’s World

Screenshot: Jake Peterson

Let’s start with something that is essentially ripped out of the internet of the 90s. Cameron’s World is a “web collage” of text and images pulled from archived GeoCities sites. This “love letter to the Internet of old” is a large, scrollable tapestry of images that invoke a huge rush of nostalgia for anyone who surfed the web in its early days.

It’s not all aesthetics, though. Hover your mouse over some of these images, and you’ll see there are hyperlinks hidden throughout. If you click, you’ll open a fake Netscape browser window, which will load a corresponding GeoCities archive. You can spend a long time exploring both Cameron’s World and the sites linked within.


Screenshot: Jake Peterson

DriveMeInsane.com might not wow you like it did fans back in 1997, but the site has been running continuously for 25 years. The idea is simple: You see a live webcam and can control various objects in the frame. Right now, that includes a white lamp, decor lamp, bronze lamp, heart light, and a plasma ball. You can turn these lights on and off, as well as any other visitors to the site.

However, there’s not a whole lot of competition these days. While checking the DriveMeInsane.com for this piece, there were anywhere from four to six other viewers at any given time. It’s still fun to use, and serves as a reminder of how far the internet has come since its peak. I doubt the creator would’ve ever imagined something like Twitch Plays Pokémon back in 1997.

The Evolution of Trust

Screenshot: Jake Peterson

The Evolution of Trust is the type of game you’d expect StumbleUpon to serve up. Taking 30 minutes of your time, the game uses a fun, minimalist style to make the argument that game theory can be used to learn more about how trust works (or doesn’t) in human relationships.

While the game does offer some levels of interactivity, you can also click through the events as passively as you’d like. In that way, it’s more of an experience than a game, but it does a great job keeping you invested for the entire half-hour journey.



Screenshot: Jake Peterson

NationStates is a stylistically simplistic yet complicated text-based country simulator. You name your nation, choose its values, and put it out into the “world” for other players to see. As you play, you’re confronted by various political questions and issues. How you choose to address those issues shapes your nation in ways you likely can’t predict. Its population will change, its economy will shift, and you will need to hope your next decision puts things on the right track.

But you aren’t playing alone. NationStates is multiplayer and very interconnected. Your nation will be asked to join different “regions,” which can impact how your nation ranks in the “world,” as well as your social life in the game. The more you play, the more involved things get. You can create as many nations as you’d like, too. If modern world-building games are too “new” for your tastes, you might find NationStates right up your alley.

Exit Reviews

Screenshot: Jake Peterson

It’s tough to make a purchase these days without checking the reviews first. But most of those reviews are from people who just bought the product. Rarely do we hear about how long that purchase lasted, or what the experience was like in that time.

That’s a problem Exit Reviews aims to resolve. The site’s mission is for customers to share their experiences with products once they break, or at least after using them for a long time. That way, you gain insight into whether it’s worth the investment, or if your money would be better spent elsewhere. We wrote about Exit Reviews here if you’re interested further.

My TV!

Screenshot: Jake Peterson

My TV! is a site that lets you recreate the viewing experience from different eras of television. Choose from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s with a time-appropriate TV to match. While none of the content is live, you can change channels to view different types of shows. Depending on the era you choose, you can even adjust the TV settings, just as you could back in the day. Overall, it’s a fun experience and should offer up a healthy dose of nostalgia for everyone.

JS Paint

Screenshot: Jake Peterson

JS Paint is an MS Paint “remake” that looks like the app was pulled from Windows 98. It’s a fun blast to the past, and features all the tools and features you’d expect, down to the alerts that play when you try to close out of the window. Happy drawing!

Kung Fu Chess

Screenshot: Jake Peterson

I suck at chess, which means I really suck at Kung Fu Chess. It’s chess, but without turns, meaning both sides are allowed to play at the same time. The only catch is there’s a timeout period for each piece you move, so you can’t simply move you queen around the board and dominate in seconds. Even on easy mode, I’m not qualified to play this, but it’s an interesting game to check out. There’s even a subreddit for the game’s limited pool of fans.

Radio Garden

Screenshot: Jake Peterson

The internet is about connecting us to people all around the globe. Radio Garden achieves that by allowing you to tune into radio stations throughout the world. You can learn what they’re listening to on the radio in major cities like Paris, Tokyo, and Mumbai, but also tiny cities in nearly any country you can think of, all in real-time.

Windows 93

Screenshot: Jake Peterson

Windows 93 is weird. Windows 93 is mysterious. Windows 93…doesn’t exist. At least, not as a product from Microsoft. Windows 93 is a simulated OS that is chock full of surprises. I don’t want to spoil any of it since there’s so much to see, but I will say this: Try dividing by zero.

If the Moon Were Only One Pixel

Screenshot: Jake Peterson

This website was actually one of the reasons I wanted to write this piece in the first place. I remembered it from a while back, but I had a hard time finding it. Well, here it is, in its never-ending glory.

If the Moon Were Only One Pixel is a side-scrolling interactive website designed to show you how large the solar system is. The site shrinks the moon down to the size of a display pixel (no surprise there), but then places the rest of the celestial objects in our solar system at an accurate distance apart. Your job is simply to scroll and experience that distance for yourself. As you might expect there’s a lot of blank space.


Screenshot: Jake Peterson

I’m shocked Wimp is still here, but I’m thrilled. The site offers seven hand-picked internet videos every day that the curator thinks you’ll find interesting. It’s like having a friend who’s super into YouTube showing you unique, fascinating, adorable, or otherwise worthwhile videos once a day.

You could leave your next video suggestion up to the YouTube algorithm, or you could try one of Wimp’s suggestions.

Hacker Typer

Screenshot: Jake Peterson

We all know by now that computer hackers don’t really look like they do on NCIS. If you want to feel like a TV hacker, though, check out Hacker Typer. Each time you press a key on your keyboard, “code” is written on Hacker Typer’s terminal. It’s all gibberish, but it looks like you know what you’re doing. Mash away at your keys and pretend to be breaking through firewalls and exposing government secrets.


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