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Toolbox Roundup: Enjoy your own online video arcade

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Toolbox Roundup: Enjoy your own online video arcade


When I was teenager Todd in my sleepy little hometown of Northern Arkansas, we had a place or two where we would hang out on a Friday night.

One of those places was the Playful Quarters. As you can imagine, it was a video arcade. I would imagine we had a couple of dozen video games in that place.

We spent our time going from one game to the next or watching one of our buddies play. There would be TVs on the wall playing episodes of Night Trax.

Night Trax played music videos on Friday and Saturday nights. This was before MTV really took off.

Next door was one of those local pizza places. There was a door between the two. I think they both may have been owned by the same people.

We would make our way to the pizza place for drinks and breadsticks.

If you were really lucky, you could find a ride to go cruising. Man, we spent a lot of hours doing nothing, really.

Video games have been around for about 40 years. We have all played them, and the evolution has been astounding.

In today’s Toolbox Roundup, we are talking about arcades and a few other fun things.

Ray the image-maker

Ray. so

Do you want to make a pretty image of one of your code snippets? This tool allows you to do that. I mean, if you are really, really proud of a code snippet, you can turn it into a pretty image to showcase to the world.

I went ahead and used Keith Crain’s snippet for changing the logo in the MainWP Dashboard and created a cool image which you see below.

Keith Crain's snippet
Keith Crain’s snippet

If you have some code, you are particularly proud of pulling up Ray and letting him make an image for you. It’s super simple.

Trend-ly Link

Are you using a link shortener? I typically fire up Bitly or Google, but I found this one the other day. If you are looking for a different option, you might give Trend-ly a try.

It has a nice and simple user interface.

Trend.ly screenshot
Trend.ly screenshot

You can see that it gives you analytics for your link. The link I used yesterday shows 33 clicks. Users get quite a bit for free, and some power featured features for less than $70 per year. The tool comes with integration options as well. This little tool has some real possibilities for marketing and sales tracking.

Your own video arcade online

I never played games on my PC that much. Have you?

I had a couple of games I played regularly about 15 years ago. I played the EA Sports Madden pretty relentlessly for a while. I loved making my own franchise, building it, and winning the Super Bowl. That was fun.

Video games have been on PCs for years now.

Now, thanks to Archive.org, so many of those games over the past 30 years live on. I may not be able to go to Playful Quarters, but I can visit the archived Internet Arcade to find one of the hundreds of games to play.

Screenshot: Internet Arcade
Screenshot: Internet Arcade

The Internet Arcade is a web-based library of arcade (coin-operated) video games from the 1970s through to the 1990s, emulated in JSMAME, part of the JSMESS software package.

Containing hundreds of games ranging through many different genres and styles, the Arcade provides research, comparison, and entertainment in the realm of the Video Game Arcade.  Source: Archive.org

So, I selected one of the football games to try it out, and I was completely in awe and frustrated at the same time. Basically, the game ran on its own because I could not figure out how to run the game. But, there is a way.

Armchair Arcade provides a step-by-step guide.

You will probably do better if you have a gamepad (I did not). I sensed that I needed some joystick.

Okay, now, choose our favorite game from the past, waste some time, and have some fun!

Wrapping it up

Technology can be incredibly rewarding, but it also can be very distracting and dehumanizing. Let’s take the best and use it for fun, encouragement, and education.

Video games get a bad rap sometimes, but when the world hangs in the balance, sometimes you need a video game guru to save the world.

I spent many hours winning NFL football games and racing my dirt track race car. It’s almost like going to a movie where you can forget about life for a while.

What are your new favorite tools? What kinds of tools do you use for fun? Drop a note in the MainWP Facebook Users Group and let us know.



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