The End of Adobe Flash

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Brandon Ngo, Section Editor

What once was a small remedy for boredom will soon be a mark in internet and gaming history. By the end of the year, Adobe plans to retire its support for Adobe Flash, and with it goes the platform that people used to create animations and indie games.

Since the era of dial-up internet, there have been websites dedicated to hosting hundreds of these games, and the games themselves are unapologetically internet. In some of these games, fans have expressed their love for other video games and candid 2000’s pop culture by making games. For example, in the game Super Smash Flash, a take on the popular Nintendo fighting game, developers can add any characters they want. Some of these Flash games became incredibly popular on YouTube, one being the incredibly inappropriate, physics-based game, Happy Wheels.

During my research, I noticed a collective mourning of the internet culture that was created through these Flash games because they are a big source of nostalgia for some people. When playing a fan-made reboot of one such game, Club Penguin, I was surprised to find out that its player base showed an understanding of digital culture that I’d only expect from people my age. Basically, I’m pretty sure that this had turned into a game full of nostalgic, self-aware teens who used it as a haven for sharing memes.

One of the main draws of Flash games was their accessibility. And while we have always had free-to-play options in terms of video games, Flash games could be accessed on any device with a browser- and any computer that you can’t install games on, including school and work computers.

Whether or not a game will make it through Adobe Flash’s retirement depends on a case-by-case basis. Sure, a lot of them are currently being converted into newer formats, a common one being HTML5, but older, abandoned projects could be doomed to obscurity. Before they’re gone, I’d recommend you go back and play them in your free time.