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Quintessence: The Challenges of Digital Preservation (Part 1)

Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:03 pm

As players, we sometimes lament the realization that our beloved games won’t work forever. I happen to live in Rochester, NY, home of the National Museum of Play, which houses... ... on-part-1/

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Re: Quintessence: The Challenges of Digital Preservation (Part 1)

Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:12 pm

I was talking to one of the Slitherine Tech Support guys today, and he was telling me about a user who was trying to get a hold of a digital download for a game released back in 2002. He wassaid how they didn't seem to have the files for it anymore (and no stock) since it was so old and a lot of things got lost in various moves etc... and their only course was to contact the original developer to see if he still has a personal hard-copy.

Made me a little melancholy to think that a game can just vanish like that. Thanks for putting the work into this Kelsey!
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Re: Quintessence: The Challenges of Digital Preservation (Part 1)

Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:57 am

And then you have the iOS apps that the developers no longer want to pay the upkeep fees to Apple once revenue stops trickling in. Hacienda, Alien Frontiers, Survive: Escape from Atlantis, to name a few. As a consumer, this annoys me to no end that I can't play recently released games that I paid for. I kind of lean toward Android releases these days, although I know there's no guarantee a game will stay there forever either.

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Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:07 pm

This is the counter to the "digital games should cost more" argument. My copy of Acquire isn't going to disappear off the shelf if Hasbro stops supporting it.

So far, I've only had one app disappear on me, but that was enough.

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Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:33 am

Great article--really thought-provoking, with great questions and ideas throughout. This is the kind of piece I'd expect to see in Wired, honestly. Awesome that PT is doing this sort of real journalism.

This is an issue that is only going to get worse as technology continues to evolve more quickly. That the device makers have zero interest in maintaining OS's that will allow "old" games to work is not likely to change. The model is structured to make it harder and harder for smaller devs to stay in business in the long run. And as they vanish, so does their code.

Looking forward to part 2!

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Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:55 am

There is an online archive games that details the history of each game. Many are playable on the browser. Contains scans of original art and instruction manuals. ... ads&page=2

If you look at their main page, there are archives to many console, and all old computer games as well.

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