Words nearby abandonware
What does abandonware mean?
Where does abandonware come from?
The word abandonware is credited to Peter Ringering, who created a website dedicated to “abandoned” software in 1996. He later organized the Abandonware Ring, which consolidated a large number of the other sites for abandoned software into one location.
In the 1997 Abandonware Ring FAQ, Ringering defined abandonware as PC or console games that are at least four years old and aren’t sold or supported by the original company that made the game or any other company. The site was designed to allow people to play the old games.
The word abandonware features abandon, “to give up on,” and -ware, a combining form indicating a type of computer software (like cloudware or doxware), but with abandonware the use is humorous. Although Ringering applied the word abandonware to video games, it quickly spread to other types of software, such as inactive virus scanners.
In the 2000s, abandonware enjoyed a nostalgic popularity, given the concurrent appetite for old or obscure computer and video games (e.g., SimCity). Archiving, distributing, and downloading them, however, has been controversial, due to ownership and copyright laws.
How is abandonware used in real life?
Abandonware is still most often applied to describe defunct computer games. It’s very popular among gamers who enjoy old-school, retro games.
Whiled away the weekend playing DOS games – only made it to the B's of the chunk of abandonware I have. Anvil of Dawn was cool.
— onwi (@pandemicennui) April 7, 2008
I'm downloading a ton of abandonware games (mainly old DOS games) for use in my social history of digital games class
— Ethan Watrall (@EthanWatrall) January 19, 2009
It’s also applied to any old, outdated, unsupported software.
You know, even though it's basically abandonware, Jaiku still beats the pants off Twitter.
— Ian Betteridge 🇪🇺 (@ianbetteridge) September 14, 2009
What happened to @Quicklytics — abandonware?
— Chris Ryan (@chrisryan) November 23, 2018
More examples of abandonware:
“Sarinee Achavanuntakul’s Home of the Underdogs was the best abandonware site on the early web, introducing a new generation to countless brilliant games and helping spark the retrogaming boom of the aughts.”
—Rob Beschizza, Boing Boing, September 2017