History of video games/Preservation
Museums, Libraries, and ArchivesEdit
- Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines in Moscow, Russia.
- Computerspielemuseum Berlin in Berlin, Germany.
- Finnish Museum of Games in Tampere, Finland.
- National Videogame Museum in Sheffield, United Kingdom.
- Video Game Museum of Rome in Italy.
- Muzeum her Cibien's Corner in Prague, Czech Republic.
- Retro Gaming Museum with branches in Iceland and Norway.
- The Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.
- National Videogame Museum in Frisco, Texas.
- The University of Texas Video Game Archive in Austin, Texas.
- The Computer and Video Game Archive (CVGA) at the University of Michigan Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- Star Worlds Arcade in De Kalb, Illinois.
- International Video Game Hall of Fame in Ottumwa, Iowa (Under development)
- Montreal Video Game Museum in Montreal, Canada.
- The Nostalgia Box in Perth, Australia.
- The Retro Video Game Museum in Sydney, Australia.
Museums or collections of other subjects that include Computer Game or Video Game history.
- The MADE (Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment) in Oakland, California.
- Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne, Australia.
- Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Washington.
- Ray & Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies in Bowling Green, Ohio - Has media related to games such as movies based on game IP, rather than games themselves.
General computing museums often include game hardware, or early computer models that were sometimes used for gaming.
- The National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park, United Kingdom.
- The Micro Museum in Ramsgate, United Kingdom.
- Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
- Living Computers: Museum + Labs in Seattle, Washington.
- Nexon Computer Museum in Jeju, South Korea.
Battery backed RAMEdit
Many early game cartridges use RAM to store save data. This requires a a battery to deliver power to the RAM at all times to avoid save game loss. These batteries will inevitably run out of juice, loosing the save games contained on the cartridge, and potentially causing other problems should they fail in other ways.
As with any work of art, or commodity, the existence of forgeries of historical video game materials makes authenticating certain materials more difficult.
As with any modern computer, many consoles and gaming hardware and software are likely to be susceptible to time issues, and may fail or encounter unexpected behavior once certain dates are reached. Notably, many devices have software which will encounter issues on January 19, 2038.
Some consoles with early built in displays, such as the Microvision or the Game Boy, have poorly made displays that rely on ample light to work, and either rot over time or become sunburnt and become unusable.
CRT displays are no longer manufactured in mass quantities, leading to shortages of replacements for arcade machines that use them. This is complicated by CRT technology having many desirable qualities for gaming not replicated in current display technologies. Some early light gun games rely on CRT technology to operate.
Older capacitors may degrade out of spec, leak fluid, or otherwise become destructive with time, though this is highly dependent on capacitor chemistry, typically affecting small electrolytic capacitors the worst and on if the device has had proper storage conditions.
Some games rely on server functions or always online DRM to run, resulting in an unplayable game once servers are decommissioned. Obtaining legal access to game server software is much more difficult then it is to acquire legal access to the end user copy of the game.
MMO games are particularly difficult to archive.
Sometimes a game developer will decide to pull digital games from a storefront, making downloading new copies impossible, even if the digital storefront still operates and the game date is not technically lost.
Other removal is less overt. Bulky obsolete arcade hardware is sometimes stored outside where it is degraded by the elements, though sometimes salvage of previously unpreserved materials from these units is possible.
Often source code, development materials, and the final game product itself are not properly preserved by developers or publishers. Additionally original audio recordings of in game samples are of interest to preservationists, and are also useful for remastering projects.
Bit rot, or degradation of game media, can also cause information to become lost if no backups exists.  Even when studios keep backups, it is still possible for source material to be lost through corruption.
There are two primary approaches to video game preservation, maintaining the physical objects themselves, and maintaining the digital contents of games. Both of these approaches require different skillsets, and an individualized approach to specific items.
There have been a number of successful attempts to mend copyright law to make preservation of gaming easier without harming the ongoing industry.
Open source projects on GitHub, including a number of games and related technologies, are preserved on digital PiqlFilm in their Arctic Code Vault located under permafrost in a former coal mine in Svalbard. This film is said to be readable until the year 3020. The film also includes instructions on how to build a reader, should it be needed. Of course this project only protects open source software that was on GitHub on the archive date. This follows the precedent of another Svalbard based archive, the Global Seed Vault, which seeks to preserve agricultural biodiversity in case of destructive events.
An early encyclopedia of video game history was known to exist on the French Minitel system.
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