What the gaming world looked like when the Internet began

The Internet has become so important to most of us that it’s difficult to imagine life before it existed. Quite an amazing thing to think about when you consider the fact that the “WWW” only really took off in the mid-nineties. When it did take off, however, the games industry was there, and we thought it would be fun to go back in time using Wayback and take some snapshots of the gaming world as it looked when the Internet was but a fledgling infant.

Picking a selection of games media and company sites from between 1996 to 1998, we see an Internet that may appear shocking to our younger readers. Yes kids, things really did look like this back when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, and Web pages that appear as if a four-year old designed them were actually official corporate sites. The Konami page really looks like a Geocities fan site, a far cry from the slick and stylishly designed work we expect from publishers and developers nowadays.

Some Web sites to take note of include IGN, back when they had a design that didn’t confuse and terrify, and Codemasters offering background music if you had “an Internet MIDI player.” We’re also laughing at the utter failure of Atari naming its Web site “Jagwire.”

Sadly, a few Web sites were protected so we couldn’t find everything we wanted. We’d love this to be as comprehensive a gallery as possible though, so if you see a glaring ommission in our image selection, feel free to hit up Wayback.org, find an example of an important site from between 1996 and 1998 then fire up our reply box with a link. We’ll be adding to this gallery as and when you guys find more additions.

James Stephanie Sterling