The Internet Archive put your favorite LCD handheld games online

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The Internet Archive has released a Hand Story Collection filled with around 60 emulated versions of retro portable games to take back to the long automobile journeys of their childhood. The archived games include Tiger Electronics' Mortal Kombat, Bandai's Burger Time and the Q * bert version of Parker Brothers, all of which can be played directly from your browser. The MAME developers have classified more than 200 games as "laptops", so if you do not see your favorite game on the list, be patient because more games will soon be added.
Archivist Jason Scott described the emulation process of LCD, VFD and LED-based games to MAME, and the careful consideration that goes into determining which games should be preserved for posterity. Although it is possible to read the chips on a circuit board without destroying the original machine, some LCD games must be completely separated to extract all the information.

A selection of the offers currently available. Internet Archive

Use an example with the LCD version of "Nightmare Before Christmas" to show how it is necessary to scan, vectorize and trace each component of the game. The LCD panel has to be removed from the circuit board below to determine which part of the layer will illuminate at certain points in the game. You can see the slider in the image below to see how the LCD layer separates from the fixed illustrated background.

On the left: "The LCD screen itself, which has a pre-formed set of images that do not overlap and represent all possible permutations of any visual information in the game." Internet Archive

Although the physical ability to hold and play games on plastic hardware makes the experience more authentic, the destruction of a handheld computer so that it can be played by future generations online remains a necessary sacrifice to preserve the game history . The Handheld History collection is a welcome addition to the already excellent list of archived Internet Archive games, which includes MS-DOS and classic console games from Atari and ColecoVision.


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