Why Some Video Games Are In Danger of Disappearing Forever
Years of neglect are eroding gaming history. Cartridges rot in garages, companies horde demos that they will never release, and obscure titles fade into the ether. Some games may even be lost forever.
Heather Alexandra at Kotaku did a great write-up about the basic ins-and-outs of game preservation and the challenges faced, both technical and legal. She includes interviews with some of the leaders in the field, including the Internet Archive’s Jason Scott and the Video Game History Foundation’s Frank Cifaldi.
One of the reasons I wanted to share this post is the curation problem discussed at the bottom. Even preserved, games will effectively disappear if they aren’t discussed and brought into new light.
Additionally, fans can attempt to keep games alive in the public conscience. Streaming games, writing blog posts, having forum discussions, and working on fan creations all help keep the spirit of old games alive.
“Players and fans should capture gameplay videos and record their thoughts on playing games,” Scott suggested when asked what simple things could be done to help preserve games
“There’s only so much that individuals can do,” Cifaldi commented. “I think we need to use our power to publish and share things can help create an oral history around games.”
Callis sums it up more succinctly. “If you care at all, make an effort.”
I’m grateful for everyone who does this, and I’m trying to do it to. Talk about and share your thoughts about odd, forgotten games in the open to keep them alive.