We’ve been busy! Our 2024 recap so far

It’s been an eventful first half of 2024. Learn what we’ve been up to this year.

The Video Game History Foundation has had a busy year! Thanks to your support, we’ve been working on new projects, recovering rare materials, and advocating for the future. Here’s what we’ve been up to over the last six months.

Bringing history to the industry

We ran the Game History Gallery at the Game Developers Conference, a new interactive game history exhibit on the show floor. Our exhibit showcased unique voices that came from outside the games industry, as well as a gallery of artifacts from game history. We wanted the developers at GDC to start thinking more about what “game history” means, and we were thrilled with the results.

Meanwhile, VGHF executive director Frank Cifaldi addressed the audience at the 2024 Independent Game Festival Awards to call the game dev community to action: History is in your hands! Frank talked about our groundbreaking game availability study and asked developers to think about how their stories—and the stories of their colleagues—would be remembered. “You’re the curator of your own story,” Frank said.

Fighting for a better future

A man in glasses and a suit sitting in a library and talking to the camera. He is gesturing with his hands.

We made headlines in April when VGHF library director Phil Salvador testified to the U.S. Copyright Office to support a new copyright exemption for game preservation in libraries and archives. This was part of a three-year push for copyright reform we’ve been working on with the Software Preservation Network. In this high-stakes hearing, we took on copyright lobbyists and made a strong case for fixing the law to make game history more accessible.

Our petition even garnered support from Antstream Arcade and Limited Run Games, two of the major companies re-releasing classic video games. They agree: Changing the law will help game preservation without hurting the game industry.

We’ll know the results of our petition this fall. In the meantime, you can read about the hearing on Ars Technica.

Building bridges

Two men sitting on a stage, talking into microphones.

We spoke at Toronto Games Week and connected with the growing community of Canadian game preservationists, who are working with important collections like the late Syd Bolton’s game library and the tapes from the TV show Electric Playground. Learn more about what they’re up to.

We helped raise over $9000 to support ROMchip, a non-profit journal for game history. By meeting their goal, ROMchip is able to commission original game history research!

A man in headphones looking exhausted, while another person, in a office covered with balloons, looks shocked.

We’ve expanded!

A room densely filled with metal shelves and boxes.

The Video Game History Foundation has a new space for processing our collections! We’re taking everything out of our storage units and bringing it on-site so we can work through it faster. And as part of our processing work…

We’ve solved scanning

We invested in new tools, technology, and techniques to scan paper better, faster, and cheaper, as part of our video game magazine preservation work.

We can scan hundreds of pages in minutes at archival-level quality. And with our state-of-the-art OCR tool, even the wackiest ’90s magazine layouts will be full-text searchable in our library. We’ve already scanned 300+ items since May, with more on the way.

New archival finds

A reel of film next to a box.

We’ve been able to recover rare materials from game history, including Nintendo’s first US commercial.

Line drawings of Tails from Sonic the Hedgehog.

New archival collections coming from Craig Stitt (artist for Sega and Insomniac Games) and ICOM Simulations!

We helped rescue another lost game

Taarzan for the Atari 2600 was shelved after the 1983–84 video game crash… until now! Read more in our blog post.

A pair of bare Atari 2600 game cartridge motherboards. One has a sticker that said Tarzan on the game ROM chip.
A large, tarnished, golden dome sitting on a rocky island.

We helped bring a classic back to life

We recovered source material for Cyan, creators of the Myst series, that they used in their new remake of Riven! With Cyan’s blessing, these videos and more are coming to our digital library.

Your support makes this possible

The Video Game History Foundation is funded by donors like you. We’re counting on you to keep our work going!