Video Game Preservation

Video Game Preservation

Game preservation is the practice of ensuring that video games, their code, artwork, and related materials are archived and maintained for future generations. With the rapid pace of technological change, many older games risk becoming unplayable or lost forever. Getting involved in game preservation is a great way to contribute to the conservation of this important part of our cultural heritage.

One key aspect of game preservation is dumping, which involves creating digital copies of game data from physical media like cartridges or discs. This allows the game to be preserved even if the original media degrades over time. The site provides comprehensive information on how to safely dump games across a wide range of systems. It covers the hardware and software needed, as well as step-by-step instructions. There are also efforts on preserving digital-first games, which covers the majority of games published today.

Scanning is another crucial preservation technique, especially for preserving game packaging, manuals, and other physical materials. The site offers guidance on properly scanning these items to create high-quality digital archives. Having gameplay instructions and contextual information preserved alongside the game itself enriches the historical record.

For those interested in the research side of game preservation, resources like Gaming Alexandria are invaluable. This collaborative community catalogs information about games across all eras and platforms, with the goal of furthering game knowledge and history that informs preservation efforts.

Finally, there are communities and non-profit organizations dedicated to game preservation that welcome contributors. Groups like the Video Game Preservation Collective (VGPC) bring collectors together to share knowledge and materials. Non-profits like Hit Save! and the Video Game History Foundation raise funds and awareness to ensure our interactive heritage is not lost to time.


This is a project sponsored and maintained by Hit Save!, a registered 501©(3) non-profit dedicated to the preservation of video games, their history, and related physical and digital materials.

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