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Coolmath Games, a popular Flash game website and a mainstay of Generation Z culture, is not shutting down in 2020. Three days ago, Reddit user u/OneHappyPie threw r/teenagers into a panic by declaring in a since-edited post that the website was shutting down after Adobe discontinues Flash support at the end of 2020 (a fact that’s been known since 2017).
However, kids and young adults who habitually return to games like Run or World’s Hardest Game don’t need to worry about losing their favorites. Polygon has confirmed with Coolmath Games that the site will not shut down as a result of Flash discontinuation. A representative told Polygon that while the concern seems to be primarily tied to Flash games, the site itself has been focused on HTML5 games for years; many old favorite Flash games have been converted to HTML5 as to still remain playable.
The original poster has since retracted their claims in an apology post on r/teenagers, but for three days, concern ran rampant. The 2,800 comments on the original reddit post are for the most part despondent and there are plenty of Fs pressed to pay respects. A tweet claiming that the site was shutting down made more modest rounds, but still received nearly 400 retweets. Perhaps most notably, a change.org petition that addressed Microsoft, Google, and President Donald Trump as decision makers amassed approximately 143,000 signatures in three days.
Coolmath.com launched in 1997 to ... well, make math cool and fun. Affiliate sites Coolmath4Kids and Coolmath Games followed and made the pivot from math explainers to games. Affinity for the site seems to be relatively dependent on generation: those who remember Coolmath Games as an integral part of our educations were likely born in 1995 or later.
The site’s fame lies in the fact that it’s branded as educational despite the fact that not all of its games are explicitly tied to math or logic. As such, it was typically accessible on restrictive school internet networks and provided entertainment or stress relief during long school days. As one signatory on the petition succinctly stated, “[Coolmath Games] was there for me when school was ass.”
Given that the site will survive 2020’s Flash shutdown, its library will still exist for nostalgic young adults, teenagers, and kids alike for the foreseeable future.