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Mini-documentary sheds light on Japan's Game Preservation Society

Mini-documentary sheds light on Japan's Game Preservation Society

November 28, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

November 28, 2016 | By Alex Wawro
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"Our mission is to restore a number of games we consider important, but also to leave behind an archive for future research so that journalists, writers, researchers and historians can bring to light important works from the past."

- Game Preservation Society frontman Joseph Redon.

If you have even a passing interest in video game history, you should know that folks with the Game Preservation Society nonprofit in Japan has been quietly working for years to archive all of the Japanese video games released in the '70s, '80s and '90s.

If you're unfamiliar with the group and their work, no worries -- Japan's publicly-funded broadcaster NHK has published a brief mini-documentary on the GPS and the state of video game preservation that's freely available to watch online until December 11th. 

In addition to some pixel art interludes contributed by noted Japanese dev Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya (Cave Story, Kero Blaster), the 28-minute production includes a handful of intriguing interviews with GPS leaders and Japanese game preservationists.

It also showcases some of the unique work GPS is doing -- at one point a volunteer is shown hand-delivering what appears to be a restored Data East DECO Cassette System, a ~36-year-old arcade machine which played games loaded in via cassettes, to be played in a Niigata Prefecture supermarket.

It's unclear how or if the mini-doc will be made available to watch after December 11th, so if you're at all interested in this topic, now would be a good time to check it out. You can also find a ~13-minute video tour of the GPS and some of its archive in this Gamasutra blog post, which is chock full of interesting footage collected across the Japanese game industry.



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