The Video Game History Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to cataloging, digitizing and preserving the history of video games. Founder and Director Frank Cifaldi, previously worked in the games press and as a developer on games such as Mega Man Legacy Collection and Sharknado. He also founded the website Lost Levels in 2003, which catalogs information about unreleased games.
In the video below, Frank Cifaldi points out why this is so important: “We believe that video games are more than just playable code. It’s the ephemeral material that was produced around it. It’s the marketing. It’s the stories. And all of these things are in danger of disappearing unless we actually go out and find it and make sure it’s safe.”
He notes that it is a future possibility, that the Foundation will open a library, collaborate with museums and help developers to ensure their code is kept secure long-term.
“Being a historian myself, I know the kinds of materials that historians rely on to tell stories, so that’s what we’re focusing on right now: gathering, digitizing, and making available video game artifacts, to whoever wants to access it,” Cifaldi says in the Patreon description. “If you’re a historian, that means a wealth of material to work with. If you’re not a historian, that means lots of cool old video game stuff to look at and play with.”
“We’re hoping that this is merely the humble start to what will become a larger organization. I want to build the Foundation into something that lives well beyond my lifetime, and affects some real change in the way that the industry treats its past.
“Video games matter, and we want to make sure their roots are never forgotten. I’m doing this with or without you – this is my job now, for the rest of my life. But the more help I’m able to get now, the more we can accomplish.”