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Who Preserves our Game History? February 1, 2011

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Gamasutra has a fascinating article on their website this week which details the many triumphs and failures of preserving the legacy of all of our games.

It is wonderful that so many classic games are being re-released so that new people can enjoy them, and so the original players can now play them on a newer modern medium without having to resort to emulation or jumping through technical hurdles to get running again.  The problem has been that in the golden age of arcade gaming, companies like Atari did not deem it important to preserve these essential game assets, like a game’s Source Code, and would simply sell them as part of whatever office furniture they happen to be kept in.  Furthermore, tons of games have original source codes that are either completely lost or no longer accessible, and in a lot of cases the mediums to preserve them are breaking down or themselves becoming obsolete.

This article details a lot of specific stories told by the publishers and developers themselves on how hard it’s been to keep track of these essential gaming archives, and some of the lucky breaks a lot of games have gotten to find their way back into preservation.

UPDATE:  Part 2 of the series is now online.