While YouTube might have brought us a cottage industry dedicated to highlighting great old games, the actual field of videogame history studies is still expanding. The Video Game History Foundation has been working to preserve gaming history for years now, and is expanding that mission with a new project called the Video Game Source Project. The effort’s first targets will be the first two Monkey Island games.
The Video Game Source Project is an effort to preserve the “raw materials” used in a game’s production. That includes the actual source code, but also includes original art, documentation, and correspondence made during a game’s development. “In the video game industry, the preservation and documentation of source is what allows a game to survive past its initial release,” VGHF co-director Frank Cifaldi explains. “Remastering a game, or even porting it to another platform, is nearly impossible without it.”
The VGHF is asking “developers, publishers, and anyone else in possession of source code, documentation, concept art, demo builds, or other materials that can help tell a game’s origin story,” as the organisation says in a press release. “Donated materials will be maintained in the VGHF’s Northern California archives and made available to video game historians.”