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Disc rot: The silent killer curbing video game preservation

Disc rot: The silent killer curbing video game preservation

February 3, 2017 | By Chris Kerr

February 3, 2017 | By Chris Kerr
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When CDs were first introduced to the world, the format was heralded as an indestructible method of media distribution. 

Fast-forward the clock by one or two decades, however, and those in the business of data preservation will tell you that suggestion was farcical at best. 

That's because the current generation of preservationists, including those concerned with the curation and protection of video games, are currently waging war on a silent enemy: disc rot. 

A Tedium post from Ernie Smith shines a spotlight on the underground battle raging between those trying to safeguard ageing video games and the destructive force gnawing away at the classics of yesteryear. 

"Back in 2010, a blogger on the video game website RF Generation, frustrated with a series of purchases in which the games had suffered a degree of 'disc rot' before reaching him, wrote a PSA to the game-collector community, calling on them to keep an eye out regarding the problem," writes Smith. 

"The blogger […] described a harrowing tale for a serious collector: After reading up on the disc rot problem, he went through his game collection, much of it in mint condition, and found white specs on many of the discs - a major tell sign of 'disc rot,' or the eventual decay of optical media.

"Whether you’re trying to protect your country’s cultural heritage or your own collection, it’s safe to say that disc rot is a huge, lingering problem."

You can find out more about the emerging threat by reading the full feature over on Tedium.



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