Buried deep under the city of Culpeper, Virginia rests some of the oldest and most important film masters ever recorded. The Library of Congress’ National Audio-Visual Conservation Center was converted out of a cold war bunker built to withstand a nuclear attack. Today, 90 miles of shelving spread across 35 climate-controlled vaults housing more than a century’s worth of recorded film history. It is an important record of human achievement and an invaluable resource for future generations. Video game preservation efforts pale in comparison.
In an age of Internet archiving and HD re-releases, one might think few nuggets of video game history are left undiscovered. The truth is, some of yesterday’s games still slip through the cracks and become lost to time. While the media age has made us better chroniclers, video game preservation still faces several challenges, and we are at risk of losing our gaming history almost as quickly as we can record it.