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Historians aim to recover, restore, and archive video game media assets

Historians aim to recover, restore, and archive video game media assets

April 5, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon

A collection being assembled by The Video Game History Foundation aims to archive artwork and assets created by game publishers for media outlets before degrading physical media causes those pieces of video game history to be lost forever.

The Video Game Media Assets Collection captures a slice of video game history that many modern developers would have missed out on otherwise. The materials recovered so far offer a look at concepts for games that never made it to release or insight from decades old developer interviews captured by PR teams ages ago. 

So far, this preservation effort has managed to track down 400 physical artifacts containing game assets created between 1996 and 2011.

The files found on those artifacts range from early screenshots, marketing material, or internal interviews, some of which either haven’t seen the light of day or have otherwise only been found previously as low-quality images.

The foundation is still in the process of converting the files on those physical artifacts to modern formats, and is updating the collection with new assets periodically. Both the collection and examples of some of the promotional images it has restored so far can be found on The Video Game History Foundation’s website.

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