90% of Classic Games on Verge of Extinction: Archivists
It’s no secret that classic games are slowly fading away from the common cultural vernacular. With more and more parents disapproving of their children playing retro games, fewer and fewer people are introduced to the video games of old. However, even in the face of strong social hostility, a brave few are devoted to preserving the classic gaming experience for generations to come.
Recently, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) estimated that 90% of classic games are currently on the verge of extinction. Compounding the issue is the fact that most of the games released before 1990 are not available to download online, and the cartridges and discs they were released on are disintegrating over time due to age and wear. Without careful preservation, the games of our youth are in danger of vanishing forever.
Thankfully, archivists are here to save the day. Many individuals and organizations are devoted to preserving the integrity of classic games. They are creating digital libraries, repairing old consoles, coding emulators and restoring artwork from antiquated titles—all in effort to keep the classic video game experience alive and accessible.
The battle to reinvigorate a long-dormant classic scene is an uphill battle for video game archivists, but with the help of digital libraries and open source emulators they are slowly gaining ground. In addition to preserving the physical medium, modern archivists are focusing their efforts on teaching players how classic gaming was experienced in the past and creating environments that allow new generations of children to experience gaming as it was in its prime.
While it may be true that 90% of the classic game market is on the edge of extinction, brave archivists are giving it their all to ensure that these games will continue to be remembered and experienced in our ever-changing world.