Retronauts Looks at Preserving Game History—Not Just Games Themselves

Retronauts Looks at Preserving Game History—Not Just Games Themselves

The founders of the Video Game History Foundation discuss the passions and challenges behind the establishment of their new non-profit organization.

When we launched Retronauts as an independent venture, back in the dim and distant pre-USgamer days of early 2013, we briefly discussed the idea of turning it into a non-profit organization centered around the preservation of video games.

We quickly abandoned that notion, partially because getting 503(c) tax status is a complicated and difficult thing... and partially because undertaking such a venture properly would be a difficult, time-consuming venture. Essentially a full-time job, really, whereas Retronauts is a thing we do on weekends. Thankfully, people far more capable and willing to buckle down than ourselves have taken up the cause themselves, and this week we chatted with three of them.

Two of this week's guests — Frank Cifaldi and Steve Lin — have appeared on the podcast before. The third guest (Mike Mika) is making his Retronauts debut. But all three of them have interesting anecdotes to share about their new venture, which stems from a mutal enthusiasm to track down obscure odds and ends of video gaming. Preserving games is one thing, but they've taken things to the next level: Hunting for documentation, source codes, notes, advertisements, legal documents, internal memos, and more. The things that make possible the business behind the creation of video games.

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Episode Description

Game preservation advocates Frank Cifaldi, Mike Mika, and Steve Lin of The Video Game History Foundation discuss the challenges and obsessions that drive the search for and archiving of the information and materials surrounding the classics.

This is easily one of the most interesting episodes we've ever published... so hopefully you don't mind that it was recorded in a hotel room on an iPhone rather than in our usual studio digs. Sometimes to get the best stories, you have to take it to the storytellers themselves, you know?

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