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Good Old Games Shuts Down?

Good Old Games Shuts Down? (photo)

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Players looking to get their fix of hard-to-find old-school games will have been thwarted if they tried going to the reliable resource of this weekend. The digital download service launched two years ago, specializing in the Good Old Games that gave the site its title. It quickly became a vital hub for enthusiast of PC games past and recently acquired the rights to distribute old-school Atari games, too.

So it caused a bit of a shock when the following letter met users going to their homepage over the weekend:

Dear GOG users,

We have recently had to give serious thought to whether we could really keep the way it is. We’ve debated on it for quite some time and, unfortunately, we’ve decided that simply cannot remain in its current form.

We’re very grateful for all support we’ve received from all of you in the past two years. Working on was a great adventure for all of us and an unforgettable journey to the past, through the long and wonderful history of PC gaming.

This doesn’t mean the idea behind is gone forever. We’re closing down the service and putting this era behind us as new challenges await.

On a technical note, this week we’ll put in place a solution to allow everyone to re-download their games. Stay tuned to this page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

All the best, Team

If GOG’s hiatus is truly permament, then the world of gaming could potentially lose a trove of difficult-to-access content. Much has been made of the challenges of game preservation and a website like GOG provided an invaluable service to anyone interested in what games played like more than a decade ago. GOG’s code workers did the difficult tasks of optimizing sometimes buggy programming to work on today’s modern software, archived box art and instruction booklets for bygone releases and most importantly, provided a place different generations of gamers to bond over games. Today’s gamers would have never experienced the quirky, influential work published by defunct entities like Interplay, JoWood or Rage Software.

The important caveat to that last point is that GOG provided a legal way to get these games, one that didn’t use controversial DRM methods that sometimes affect PC performance. It’s not too hard to scour the torrents and find ripped software and instructions on how to install emulation software. Of course, this rankles the rightholders of the collective backcatalog. But, they may not have the wherewithal or resources to maintain old-school releases. So, when a site like GOG disappears, the only way to get archived digital content is to hit the torrents.

The titles that GOG aggregated exist mostly as fond memories for people that played them and the site allowed players to revisit them and see if they were as good as they remembered. That may sound trivial, but it’s a lot easier to rent, stream or download “Mean Streets,” for example, than it would be to play “MDK2” or “Another World.” Both those games are classics in their own right, and it’s sad to see them fade away out of reach. There’s speculation that this shut-down is just a marketing ploy in advance of another announcement. And the wording of the goodbye letter certainly lends credence to that. Still, even if the disappearance of GOG is only temporar, it highlights one important idea. If the video games medium wants to win the argument that doubts whether they’re really an artform, then a better job needs to be done in terms of preserving its history.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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