Frank Cifaldi founds not-for-profit to preserve video game history

Frank Cifaldi founds not-for-profit to preserve video game history
Jake Tucker

By Jake Tucker

March 1st 2017 at 12:14PM

The Video Game History Foundation won't be a museum, but will preserve games digitally

A team of games industry figures and retro-games enthusiasts have come together to launch a non-profit organisation that is aiming to digitise and collect a complete history of video games from all around the globe.

The non-profit, based in the US, was founded by gaming historian Frank Cifaldi, and the board comprises of Steve Lin, Simon Carless, Mike Mika and Chris Melissinos. The Video Game History Foundation was put together with one goal: the creation of a searchable online library filled with documentation and artefacts relating to video games.

This library will include high-resolution scans of game packaging, internal company memos, documentation and even binary dumps of the games themselves, which will be verified as safe before making their way online. Cifaldi's magazine collection will also be expanded into a permanent reference library, which it says it to be housed on the U.S West Coast in a location that will be determined in the near future.

The VGHF has resisted the idea that it'll become a museum however, Instead, items donated to the museum are intended to pass through the foundation, getting digitised and preserved before they make their way to their forever home.

"Video game history is disappearing. The majority of games that have been created throughout history are no longer easily accessible to study and play. And even when we can play games, that playable code is only a part of the story," the Foundation claims in a press release. "In order to know how and why games were made, how they were advertised and sold, and even how they were seen by players of their time, historians and researchers rely on ephemeral materials - artwork, interviews, reviews, packaging, advertising, internal documentation, and more - to tell a complete story. And without an organized effort to collect, document, and preserve these materials, there is a very real danger of losing them forever.'

The Foundation claims that it's already digitised a good chunk of material, but isn't yet ready to make the archive fully public.