Gaming history is a fascinating topic, despite the media being relatively recent. Surely, we can trace the origins of videogames even further back than the 70s, but that would be not much use. Thus, these are events that took place around thirty or forty years ago, so indeed relatively recent, especially compared to literature or cinema. Still, without research and interviews, those moments that have been so important for the birth of the videogaming medium would be lost to time. Let us take a look, then, at the websites saving gaming history from oblivion.
Saving gaming history
While there have been endless documentaries about Nintendo and Sega, and basically every one of their games, there hasn’t been much research done on what was going on with the two Japanese companies outside of Japan and America. While it makes sense that those two markets would be the more researched, it is also a shame to not go in-deep into what was going on in other European nations.
On this, Damiano Gerli at The Genesis Temple offers a treasure trove of articles to catch up on what was going on in the 80s and 90s, with specific articles covering Italy and more generic overviews of Europe. While these might be quite specific and obscure topics, the more reason it is to try and save them from oblivion since, as opposed to such exhausted games like Super Mario Bros or Sonic the Hedgehog, these are the ones which risk disappearing into oblivion.
Preservation and its joys
Preservation is another quite important topic for the industry and gaming history as well, that is where sites such as Gaming Alexandria step in. Run by Dustin Hubbard, Ethan Johnson and others, the website has been doing essential work in preserving games, which were often unreleased, such as Sacred Pools, a 1997 erotic FMV thriller developed by Sega.
As for Nintendo-related preservation, there is another group doing some great work, Forest of Illusion. They have been keeping busy preserving prototypes of games which have been released, along with unreleased titles or even early versions of the Nintendo DS firmware. For Sega-related information, most of your needs would be covered by Sega Retro, which regularly covers unreleased Sega games and acts as a Wikipedia for all old things related to Sega.
Discussing gaming history
Clearly, not everything is about preservation and finding and dumping games which have never been released. History is also made by discussing and analyzing games and technology years after the fact. On this topic, it is easy to find many gaming history articles also published on mainstream websites, such as Eurogamer or even the BBC.
It is a topic that is important to remember and discuss, as it is quite easy that floppies with unreleased games or artworks might get erased, people might pass away before there’s a chance to interview them and, in general, things can be easily lost to time. Please support these individuals trying to save gaming history, if you can, and try to support gaming history and research as much as possible. Clearly, there is no way to look at the future, without remembering our past.