Play It Again project at Flinders University

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by Agg, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. Agg

    Agg Lord of the Pings

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    Dean spotted this retro gaming preservation project at Flinders University. Researchers at Flinders University are hoping to collect memories and games of Australia's early video gaming industry before they are lost to digital degradation. With many of the first home computer games now more than 30 years old, Associate Professor Melanie Swalwell, a researcher from the School of Humanities Department of Screen and Media, fears the nostalgic items will become unusable soon if not transferred or stored.
     
  2. Alby1976

    Alby1976 Member

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    Just read through it, ahhhhh, the good ol C64.
    The real issue is that most of the floppy disc will most likely be dead by now, I know I had some awhile back and they were in bad shape then.
    It is still a great idea to document and save such a thing.
    I also remember a few other aussie gaming companies that put out games that used to get a regular hiding, of which I don't remember what they were.
     
  3. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    Digital archiving of old games seems to be the in thing at the moment, which is good. There's quite a few threads in the Vintage Gaming section over at the Vintage Computer Forums of people collecting just about every variation of each game (version, language etc) for archiving. There is of course plenty of "abandonware" sites who have been doing essentially the same thing for years, but this is more organised and detailed archiving with some going to great lengths to ensure the copy is 100% intact and untouched.

    Great to see someone is focusing on the Australian/NZ software industry.
     
  4. Mickatroid

    Mickatroid Member

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    I have rarely tried to use a C64 floppy to find it didn't work (quite a few this year). I live in canberra where the air is relatively dry and salt free which probably helps. They are proving to be far more durable than I thought they would be.
     
  5. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Great project. I've been following these guys for a while now, and contributing screenshots and things where I can.

    They have a blog off the main Flinders Uni site:
    http://blogs.flinders.edu.au/play-it-again/

    On there is a "wishlist" of games they're looking for. If any of you retro-collecting folk can help them out, you'd be doing game preservation (and in particular, Australian game preservation) a huge help!
     
  6. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Interesting article posted in the last few days:

    https://overland.org.au/2015/09/videogames-at-the-end-of-history

    While we're doing good things to collect, document and curate games of old, there's a clear trend in modern gaming with it's strict distribution channels and digital-only storage that we might actually have already lost games forever, despite their relatively recent releases.
     
  7. power

    power Member

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    Digital only is going to be a massive, massive problem for any kind of archival storage of older games of the modern era.

    Thankfully games worth playing (true retro stuff) already have community projects to backup, archive and importantly spread this stuff to all of those who share a passion for it.

    It's actually one of the reasons I am absolutely behind the internet archive guys, they are bloody legends.

    What is a real shame is that many of these projects only focus on the popular stuff, not everything. But it's a hell of a lot better than nothing.
     
  8. Kie

    Kie Member

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    I'm thankful that practically every game from the 64bit console era backwards is backed up online. One day none of the cartridges/disks will work (except those extremely well-preserved). Same goes for consoles, like those with digital games on them for example, they'll all fail eventually too. What won't disappear is the internet and ways to access online content. At least we know we will always be able to play the older (and arguably better) games forever.
     
  9. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    The MAME kids do a good job of covering all bases. A lot of the stuff they dump and emulate is unpopular, boring and often quite terrible. But they treat it with equal effort and respect to any other game, which is a great attitude to their goal of documentation, preservation and curation.
     
  10. Grant

    Grant Member

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    I wonder if someone like Valve would agree to a private "museum/escrow" company grabbing all the release snapshots of all of the Steam/Source games that have had dozens of updates per year for the last decade. When Steam was gaining popularity there was always the urban legend that Valve had "plans" to de-DRM people's libraries if Steam ever went under, but I think we can all see that that wouldn't happen.

    I'd be less confident that the other big houses like EA and Ubi would even bother, but if one of the players got some goodwill by starting the movement.

    For current and future releases, it'd be good if there was a not-completely-illegal way of setting up a Wayback Machine of sorts pointed at the Steam archive, and populated by users who have purchased the games and backed them up to a private cloud (ie. copyright liability is moved to all of the users, who have the right to back up their data, but data storage requirements are minimised through de-duplication and compression across the user base).
     
  11. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I think if you care about this sort of thing as an end user, you'd support people like GoG who do a better job at dealing with preservation and pushing out DRM-free stuff.

    As a Linux user, I got all excited and jumped on the Steam bandwagon some time back. Since then I've had a rethink about it, and have made a concerted effort to use GoG instead whenever an option has been available through it. It required some mucking around with WINE and other tools, but now GoG are making a much better effort at supporting Linux users as well, which is great.
     

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