Skip to main content

Giphy Arcade is bringing back flash games in the social media era

(Image credit: Giphy, Inc.)

When I was a kid, I was afforded one video game for my birthday and another for Christmas. And when you're a kid who'd rather spend their weekends playing video games instead of going outside, two games per year is a meager supply. That left me with little option but to turn to websites like Newgrounds where I'd spend my Friday nights clicking away at flash games. Then I got a job, and my days of playing flash games ended, but Giphy Arcade's system of playing, creating, and sharing flash games might be tantalizing enough to give flash games their comeback in the age of social media.

If you don't speak in GIFs, you might not know much about Giphy. It's a website and GIF warehouse where you'll find relevant GIFs from the most recent presidential debate to sports to classic horror movies. Giphy Arcade is a new platform that lets users quickly and easily create mini flash games and share them with the world. Making games in Giphy Arcade requires no technical knowledge whatsoever, and takes all of 10 seconds.

A word of note: the games you make in Giphy Arcade are incredibly rudimentary, as is the process that goes into making them. All you do is choose a gameplay template, player, obstacle, background, and music out of small catalogs, and Giphy handles the rest. I made one where you help ghosts by drawing walls to guide them away from a crying jack-o-lantern and toward their delicious bubbly. I named it Boo's Booze.

Giphy Arcade is free to use, and it looks like they earn revenue through sponsorships. As of now, it's clear that the fast food giant Wendy's is using the tool to promote their food and their extraordinarily deep tabletop RPG, Feast of Legends.