New Non-Profit Has Plans To Save Gaming's Past

The Video Game History Foundation officially launched today. A non-profit dedicated to the preservation of video games and video game materials, the foundation is already working on special projects to help keep gaming history alive.

Directed by game historian Frank Cifaldi and a board of founders, The Video Game History Foundation is one of the only non-profit organisations dedicated to game preservation. As time marches on, games degrade and the media around them is lost. The organisation hopes to take action against this growing issue.

Chief among these projects is an extensive digital library of games materials including scans of internal documents and press kits, documentation of packaging, and playable binary code for games.

"What I think we're in the most danger of losing right now is context," Cifaldi told Kotaku last year. "I think we're in danger of losing the history around these games as opposed to losing the ability to launch and play them."

An additional project is the The Nintendo USA NES Launch Collection. This endeavour seeks to document the initial days of the Nintendo Entertainment System. The project is turning up old advertisements, examining prototype units, and even has collected materials as esoteric as the script written for demonstrating the R.O.B aka the "Robotic Operating Buddy."

The organisation may grow in time to include more projects but for now it's a strong step forward to keeping games alive. After all, we're all familiar with the old phrase: "One man's old magazine advert is another man's treasure."


    How long before the copyright cartels try to shut this down?

    "We don't care if it is to preserve history! You are infringing on our copyright!"

    Sad reality aside; I hope this prospers; especially how games are being lost due to source code being lost, some simply hoarding the few remaining copies out there, to just server shut down that make some games even uninstallable because the copy protection can't "authenticate".

    Last edited 01/03/17 1:18 pm

      Why does the truth hurt so much :(

        It's what the rights holders have chosen; they want games to expire like food so they can justify over priced re-releases and demonise the second-hand market.

      Format shifting is protected in a bunch of nations, but unfortunately plenty of these will remain unplayable sadly.

      There really needs to be a 25 year expiry on copyright.

    Been following these guys for a while, it's some truly amazing stuff. Gaming history is so fascinating, and it's only been around for why, not even 40 years? I can only imagine what it's going to be like another 40 from now, trying to recall this stuff.

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