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About Plays.org

Site Background

What We Offer

We are a site offering free and fun online games which can quickly be played from the browser. The thinking behind this site was since so many people are stuck at home during rolling lockdowns maybe we could add a bit of joy to people’s lives.

Much of the gaming industry revolves around hyper-optimizing design for accidental ad clicks, paid upgrades, and creating addictive loops – all of which are needed to offset the cost of paying for distribution buying ads in other games and on other platforms.

In recent years many gaming companies have went public with valuations in the 10s of billions of dollars including Roblox, Unity and Applovin.

This site aims to be prettymuch the opposite of those sorts of trends.

  • no status symbols or paid upgrades
  • super simple games which are a chance for fun, but do not aim to alter your identity or establish addictive loops
  • casual games you can dip in and out of
  • no need to download apps to play
  • no need to register or set up a user account

A Constantly Expanding Collection of Games

Currently we have published over 150 games on our site. We try to publish at least 1 or 2 additional games everyday, so if you click on the “free games” menu above linking at plays.org/games/ you should see something new everyday. 🙂

If you do not see new games it means I am horribly sick, have died, or my internet connection was severed.

Technology

This website is powered using the fantastic WordPress blogging software and a couple plug-ins to help organize site structure and add features like game ratings. I once attended a conference with the founder of WordPress and got to eat lunch with him. It is amazing seeing how well they’ve grown over the past decade.

Most of our games are built as lightweight JavaScript web applications.

The blog theme was coded from scratch by the site founder using a design our web designer created. You can tell from the level of detail in the header graphic he loves gaming more than I do.

Founding

Domain Name

The founder has a friend who is a well known internet marketer. Originally the site was going to have a different name, but the friend advised him the name “plays” was much better. The domain was acquired from Buy Domains on January 15th, 2021 and we got to work building the site immediately.

Founder

The founder of this website could be described as an eccentric self-employed full-time webmaster who has worked on frontend and backend web development for a couple decades. He has been mentioned in the mainstream media a number of times, but is more fond of being a kid and playing with his daughter than being an adult. He is an introvert and writes in the third person.

Founding Ethos / Back to Basics / Play for Fun, Not Competition

This site was founded by a person who purchased multiple large storage racks to hold their massive video game cartridge collection. I tended to like vintage video games for the following reasons:

  • most vintage console games had a concrete end to them and were self-contained units
  • the fact the game was on a cartridge disconnected from the web and world meant it was its own little world
  • no in-game paid upgrades
  • the game was the product
  • no infinite level of competition from other intense players (letting me be the Al Bundy who scored 4 touchdowns in a single high school game vs having me curse at the TV from people who are more intense and more talented than I am at Mariokart) 😀
  • no glitching or cheese builds (or if you glitch it is only against the computer) … here is looking at you

This site is inspired by the above worldview. Many small snackable games. Little bits of joy. No paid upgrades or playing with the default character settings that social signals you can’t afford the upgrades. Not competing against others, but playing for the sake of play and to have fun. 🙂

Celebrating the web from the day before pop up ads & in-game ads that destroy the flow of playing without the need to be able to figure out how to use advanced emulation software like MAME to revisit the past.

I also get a sense of accomplishment whenever I beat a game and I probably beat over half the games on this site. I love games like Tales of Symphonia  & if time were limitless I would love to beat the entire series, though I struggle with time now after having a child and running a company with employees.

Funding

Other than the domain name this website did not cost a lot to build as many of the costs are concurrent with our other projects. Our designer created the design for this site in between other projects, this site is hosted on a shared web server, etc. This website is funded through savings from operating other websites. The founder of this site once worked for some decently large web companies including a company named after a long river and a big web portal before Google made web portals obsolete. The founder of this site is by no means rich, but is doing ok after a couple decades in the tech field.

This site was created as a way to use what I know to create something fun and to make some aspects of my work day a bit less boring than it otherwise would be, while believing I am making the web just a tiny bit better – especially for those who can not afford video games and are often stuck playing mobile apps optimized to frustrating users into buying upgrades or accidentally clicking ads.

I initially had a few free games for my daughter to play with me online and then what started as a little thing just kept growing into an obsession.

If I had to sum up my philosophy, I’d aim to be the antithesis of Marc Pincus

Marc Pincus on Getting Revenue

“I knew that I wanted to control my destiny, so I knew I needed revenues, right, f**king, now. Like I needed revenues now. So I funded the company myself but I did every horrible thing in the book to, just to get revenues right away. I mean we gave our users poker chips if they downloaded this Zwinky toolbar which was like, I don’t know, I downloaded it once and couldn’t get rid of it. *laughs* We did anything possible just to just get revenues so that we could grow and be a real business…So control your destiny. So that was a big lesson, controlling your business. So by the time we raised money we were profitable.” – Zynga’s Founder Marc Pincus

User Tracking & Privacy

This site does not carry any advertisements. We do have a social sharing widget in the sidebar and some of the social networks like Facebook may try to use user activity for ad targeting, but we do not directly monetize any webpage or track uses with intent of delivering ads to them.

The only tracking service on our site where we look at it is Clicky, a web analytics tool. We use data from it to see which games are popular and track our site health overall. If we see a certain specific game or category of games is widely popular with our users then we will create more related games in that genre.

Media

Blog & Video Reviews

I appreciate all the gamers who have reviewed this site on their blogs and on video sites like YouTube. It is your sharing that helps this site grow. 🙂

As Seen In

While our site was launched in January and has connected well with the web, being referenced by hundreds of websites, including:

Anyone is free to link to this site without requesting. Links are what hold the web together. 🙂

Plays.org Logos

We offer a variety of logos you can use if you write about our website.

If you have a cool logo design idea you’d like to share in the comments be my guest.

Original

Plays.org logo.

Black

Plays.org logo black.

White

 

 Plays.org logo white. 

 

Retro Colors

Plays.org logo retro.

Overworld

Plays.org logo overworld.

Subtle Pink

Plays.org logo subtle pink.

Camo Colors

Plays.org logo camo.

In Rainbows

Plays.org logo in rainbows.

Plays.org logo in rainbows.

Plays.org logo in rainbows.

Plays.org logo in rainbows.

a live version of Radiohead’s Nude, which is better than the studio version on the In Rainbows album.
Videotape, perhaps the most beautiful Radiohead song. 🙂

If you have a media request you can contact us using either of the methods shown below.

Contact Us

You can email us using the address everyone @ our domain name. Alternatively, you can also post comments to this page. Every game page has a contact / feedback form on it. If you uncover any bugs or issues please let us know so we can fix them and improve the site for everybody. 🙂

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About Us

We like the Internet, the Outernet, the Extranet, and memes. And games. Lots and lots of games. :)

I am so old I played early Atari, ate at ShowBiz Pizza & was even a fan of ColecoVision.

#NightStalker #NeverForget #Roots