Mission Statement

The Video Game History Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to cataloging, digitizing, and preserving the history of video games.

Why Video Game Preservation Matters

Video game preservation matters because video games matter. Games are deeply ingrained in our culture, and they’re here to stay. They generated an unprecedented $91 billion dollars in revenue in 2016. They’re being collected by the Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Library of Congress. They’ve inspired dozens of feature films and even more books. They’re used as a medium of personal expression, as the means for raising money for charity, as educational tools, and in therapy.

And yet, despite all this, 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.

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.

Who We Are

Frank Cifaldi — Founder and Director

Frank Cifaldi is a video game archivist, historian, and developer living in Oakland, California. Game titles he has worked on include Mega Man Legacy Collection, #IDARB, and Sharknado: The Video Game. Prior to this he had a decade-long career as a journalist and an editor, primarily at Gamasutra and 1UP. He is on the advisory board for the National Videogame Museum and the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment, and has facilitated donations of rare video game artifacts to the Strong Museum of Play and the Library of Congress.

Steve Lin — Founding Board Member

Steve Lin is a tech executive and team-builder with an undying passion for preserving video game history. He has led video game publisher Gree's Canadian studio, was the Head of Platform at tech startup GotIt!, the VP of Operations at mobile ad company OpenFeint, and was a part of Google’s AdSense team. Steve’s private collection of video game artifacts is among the most substantial in the world, and includes many one-of-a-kind items. He advises collectors and archives worldwide, and is a founding donor to the National Videogame Museum.

Simon Carless — Founding Board Member

Simon Carless is the Executive Director of the Game Developers Conference, the premiere international conference for the videogame industry. He’s worn many hats in his twenty years in the video game industry, including (but not limited to) the Chairman of the Independent Games Festival, Editor-In-Chief of Gamasutra, Game Developer Magazine, and Slashdot Games, a Digital Achivist at the Internet Archive, and a game designer at Infogrames, working with properties that included Superman and the Looney Tunes.

Mike Mika — Founding Board Member

Mike Mika is a twenty-year veteran of the video game industry. He is currently the head of development at Other Ocean Interactive, where he was the lead designer and engineer on 2015’s Xbox One hit party game, #IDARB. Between his careers at Other Ocean, Backbone, Digital Eclipse, Ngmoco, and as an independent developer, Mike has had his hands in over 100 titles, ranging from Nintendo’s now-vintage Game Boy all the way to modern consoles. Mike is also a former editor of Next Generation, a well-respected video game magazine from the 90s. His collection of video game history is substantial; parts of it were loaned to The Smithsonian American Art Museum for its Art of Video Games Exhibit.

Chris Melissinos — Founding Board Member

Chris Melissinos has been interested in video games and computer technology since programming his first game on his trusty VIC-20 in 1980. Focusing on video game technology development as the former Chief Gaming Officer at Sun Microsystems, he has been an active member of the video game industry for almost two decades. He is also the founder of PastPixels, LLC, where he curated “The Art of Video Games,” an exhibit for the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Art of Video Games helped establish video games as a legitimate art form, and enjoyed a ten-museum national tour between 2012 and 2016.