The Archives: Introduction

At the risk of sounding horribly pretentious, I miss the internet. Growing up on the cusp of the change in technologies means that I saw the internet go from being a strange and sometimes magical place to the corporate-owned consolidated mass it is now. Don’t get me wrong – I think there’s a lot about the modern internet that’s great! I also think, however, that just because something is good now doesn’t mean we can trash the past entirely. I never meant to start this section, but at the same time I do owe the idea of backing up Zarathustra to what finally kickstarted this whole thing.

With this section, I wanted to look back at websites that I loved from those early days and into my teen years and enshrine them. Back in the day, this was called mirroring, so I suppose you can think of it that way. I don’t aim to grab every website under the sun, but there are several that mean something to me, or in some cases to a fandom at large, and often these websites were the only way you could get consolidated, detailed information about certain subjects. There’s a cultural significance to them, too, a peek into the past and a look into what people mostly in the gaming world were thinking at the time.

How we interact with media over the internet has changed. Social media platforms have risen and fell, and information is largely collected in online encyclopedias or disseminated through transient platforms like Twitter or Discord. These platforms themselves aren’t bad by any means, but the speed and methods of information processing is not conducive to archival. My only real goal with the archives, outside of tickling my own nostalgia bone, is to provide a freeze-frame snapshot into several sites that inspired myself and others and are still loaded with fascinating first-hand sources of some niche topics. The world is beautiful, full of beautiful places and beautiful thoughts. In my own way, I want to honor some of that beauty.

The Wayback Machine and are amazing. The archive team does such incredible work, and without them none of these would exist. This isn’t meant to disparage them by any means, it’s more just a way of having my own conversation with places that intrigued or defined me and to ensure that they won’t vanish some day. Hopefully. It should go without saying, but I do not own any of the information on these archived sites. I have done my best to leave them as I was able to find them through the Wayback Machine and other sources, but in some cases I may have had to modify certain portions slightly. These modifications will of course be noted. I also have a few archivist notes here-and-there, but nothing to compromise the integrity of the sites in question.

Finally, as is to be expected, expect many broken images and links. Still I hope everyone who visits has a fun time clawing their way through history.