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Author Topic: Preservation of Video Games  (Read 8352 times)
manopac
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« on: October 01, 2008, 12:48:51 AM »

not sure if it qualifies for this part of the forum (or should go to "Humor" instead ...), but anyway:

just got back from London and was holding a talk yesterday at a scientific conference at the British Library in front of 250 archivists, librarians and museologists about the importance of preserving console video games ... and it was a total success Smiley Looks like people are really getting aware of the significance of video games and the importance to keep them in a working state for the past ...
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Ozyr
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2008, 04:26:50 AM »

yup!  Smiley  I know a few folks where I live that actually deduct the costs of their games from their taxes as they are part of a preservation group for old technology. I've been thinking about joining, but am uncertain at this point (as I'm seriously thinking of selling off a lot of my collection).

But, it is cool that folks are interesting in the old stuff. Now all we need is an O2/VP section in some big museum!  Tongue


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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2008, 08:03:42 AM »

Did you pick up any information on the best way to store old video games? Does it even matter as long as they are between two temperatures and not in a damp environment? (and not in a big pile of course)
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ANDYRYALS
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2008, 10:07:33 AM »

We better keep this place secret then as Im sure the prices of VP games will increase even further if the british libraries start collecting them  Roll Eyes (
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manopac
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2008, 10:23:32 AM »

Did you pick up any information on the best way to store old video games? Does it even matter as long as they are between two temperatures and not in a damp environment? (and not in a big pile of course)

not really, it was a conference on "Digital Preservation" - how to keep digital information accessible over a long term (50+ years), and not on how to actually conserve the original products (though thats obviously important as well) - IMHO there's a few different things to consider about preserving videogames:
- preserving the digital data (bitstream) and keeping it accessible
- keeping the original media and systems in a working state (which most probably wont be possible for more than 50 years for reasons like proprietary hardware and media failure that can not be prevented)
- preserving the "analog" information of a video game (Manual, Box, Label, controllers, additional items like overlays etc.) - which can be tricky as I guess they don't really used "acid-free" paper to print videopac-manuals :-)

but like I said, I work in the first of the three fields, so I don't really know a lot about the third part ... except maybe a few things I have heard so far like:
- don't keep games sealed (paper boxes get crushed as the celophan tends to shrink, due to static electricity inside floppy discs and tapes can get erased
- keep them dry
- keep them at the same temperature if possible
- keep them out of the sun
- wash your hands before touching them :-)

any more suggestions ?

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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2008, 10:35:30 AM »

- don't keep games sealed (paper boxes get crushed as the celophan tends to shrink, due to static electricity inside floppy discs and tapes can get erased

I am just in the process of unshrinkwrapping (LOL) all of my shrinkwrapped games. Most of the boxes really get crushed, so I won't let a game in its shrinkwrap anymore.

Another important factor: Don't store shrinkwrapped games in very warm environment. I didn't, but I got some sw'ed games where the plastic foil was actually "glued" to the box, probably due to heat. It is not always possible to remove the plastic foil without damage to the printing on the box then ...
« Last Edit: October 01, 2008, 10:38:15 AM by ccc--- » Logged

manopac
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2008, 11:47:20 AM »

Dieter just reminded me of another good point!

don't use rubber bands to e.g. bundle games and loose manuals together ! those things tend to stick to the paper after some time and can only be removed with damaging the original product ... happened on some Atari 8Bit games I bought a while back!
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Sweersa
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2008, 01:05:15 PM »

Did you pick up any information on the best way to store old video games? Does it even matter as long as they are between two temperatures and not in a damp environment? (and not in a big pile of course)

not really, it was a conference on "Digital Preservation" - how to keep digital information accessible over a long term (50+ years), and not on how to actually conserve the original products (though thats obviously important as well) - IMHO there's a few different things to consider about preserving videogames:
- preserving the digital data (bitstream) and keeping it accessible
- keeping the original media and systems in a working state (which most probably wont be possible for more than 50 years for reasons like proprietary hardware and media failure that can not be prevented)
- preserving the "analog" information of a video game (Manual, Box, Label, controllers, additional items like overlays etc.) - which can be tricky as I guess they don't really used "acid-free" paper to print videopac-manuals :-)

but like I said, I work in the first of the three fields, so I don't really know a lot about the third part ... except maybe a few things I have heard so far like:
- don't keep games sealed (paper boxes get crushed as the celophan tends to shrink, due to static electricity inside floppy discs and tapes can get erased
- keep them dry
- keep them at the same temperature if possible
- keep them out of the sun
- wash your hands before touching them :-)

any more suggestions ?



Or wearing white gloves.  But that is no fun.

Are shrink wrapped games original sealed games?

I remember buying some games that had blue gunk on them that was hard and dried up, it was an old rubber band that had mostly dissolved and broken apart.
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manopac
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2008, 11:07:33 PM »

We better keep this place secret then as Im sure the prices of VP games will increase even further if the british libraries start collecting them  Roll Eyes (

hm ... wouldn't worry too much, seems like they are still a little obsessed with something called a "Magna Carta" and a guy sounding like "shake the beer" ...
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2008, 06:58:25 AM »

LOL
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2008, 10:21:38 AM »

I used to work next to were the Magna Carta was signed, you could drive right past and you wouldn't even know it, hardly marked at all. Of course, that might be because its on a flood plain...
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Vawparly73
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2009, 10:35:04 PM »

I am netural to the situation. I mean it is not as bad as some people play it out to be put it can be good for anyone can it?
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grgh
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2009, 12:10:00 AM »

To he that has access to many hairy disguises, this was the other one for the true location resolver.
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Janzl
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2009, 12:30:22 AM »

Well, as I banned D.Soche's IP adress, I now discover that Vawparly73 has exactly the same IP and is therefore automatically banned too.  Evil
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grgh
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2009, 04:36:17 AM »

All hail the many hairy disguises, surely I need a few (being bald already)!  Cheesy
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