Earlier this week, it was reported that an amateur game preservationist’s project was all but dead, following the loss of hundreds of vintage game cartridges in the mail – adding up to about $10,000 USD. The industrious fan – who is also known in the scene for his multi-console emulator – intended to receive the games from a collector, and dump the original data on a hard drive for posterity.
Preservation of artistic mediums isn’t something new; everything from paintings to movies are often rigorously looked after by organisations and governments, as canvases and film-reels deteriorate over time. While gaming is a relatively new medium, preserving them in their original form is becoming harder to do so, as cartridge batteries fail, and bit-rot sets in.
So, should the onus be on publishers to maintain their games for historical purposes?
Should publishers be more pro-active? If there’s no monetary gain, what incentive do they have to do so? Should they work more closely with these amateur preservationists?
Have your say over at NZGamer.com, or in the comments below!