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The Internet Archive uploads handheld retro games

The Internet Archive uploads handheld retro games

March 20, 2018 | By Emma Kidwell

Handheld LCD games were uploaded to the Internet Archive (a website where volunteers build a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts) earlier this week, and are now playable through a web browser via MAME emulation.

Uploading video games from the past is something the Internet Archive has done before, but this project of cataloging handheld LCD games is notable because they aren't remakes, but emulations of the actual circuits. 

As reported by Engadget, the project is dubbed "Handheld History" and archivist Jason Scott discusses the arduous process of emulating the plastic handheld games.

He notes that while most circuit boards containing the games can be read from without destroying the hardware, sometimes it's necessary (as with LCD game machines) to take the entire thing apart to get all the information from it. 

"To get the information off an LCD game, it has to be pulled apart and all its components scanned, vectorized, and traced to then make them into a software version of themselves," Scott tells Engadget.

"Among the information grabbed is the LCD display itself, which has a pre-formed set of images that do not overlap and represent every possible permutation of any visual data in the game."

To see what games have been uploaded so far, be sure to check out Handheld History here. 

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