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The fight to save old video games

A stylized version of the Vergecast logo, showing old video games.
Illustration by Samar Haddad / The Verge

When I ask Frank Cifaldi, the founder and director of the Video Game History Foundation, to explain the importance of preserving and maintaining old video games, he answers with a movie analogy. Imagine, he said, “if movies were only released on, like, VHS, ever. You want to watch Back to the Future? All right, you have to go on eBay, and you have to find an antique VHS copy that’s degraded a bit from use. You have to find a VCR that works, a TV that it plugs into — or the external scalers that make it look correct on your modern TV — and you might need a time-base corrector because the magnetic flux signal is out of sync.”

For too many games, this is the state of the industry. For the most part, decades’ worth of games now exist only…

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