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Welcome to the University of Michigan's Computer and Video Game Archive (Video) 55

Posted by Roblimo
from the new-and-old-games-side-by-side-for-you-to-play dept.
After watching this video, a lot of you are going to wish you were Dave Carter, who works at the University of Michigan's Computer and Video Game Archive. He deals with video games, from the oldest hand-helds and consoles to the newest Xbox and PC games and controllers. A lot of his time is no doubt spent fixing things that break, finding obscure games, being generally helpful, and making sure nobody breaks the games, consoles, computers, controllers, and even board games and memorabilia in the collection. But still, this has got to be the ultimate job for a game junkie. And it looks like a great place to visit, because this museum is part of a library, and just as a library encourages you to pick up books and read them, this is a place where you can actually play the games, not just stare at a ColecoVision console in a display case. You can play in a cubicle or, for games that take some space, there are a couple of big gaming rooms with soft-looking sofas and big flat-screen TVs, where you can jump up and down like crazy while you're doing Guitar Hero or using a Wii or Kinect. And if you can't make it to Ann Arbor, MI, there's an informative blog that's all about video games past and present that's must reading for almost any serious gamer.

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Welcome to the University of Michigan's Computer and Video Game Archive (Video)

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  • by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:41PM (#41152143) Homepage Journal

    Another visitor .. stay a while, stay forever!

    • by wasteoid (1897370)
      The speech synthesis on my C128 was not clear enough that I could understand that first part ("Another visitor"); thanks for solving a 26-year old mystery!
    • someone +1 him for obscure C64 reference!

      I felt a healthy dose of nostalgia when I read that.

  • Always trying to hop on the band wagon after the fact. The Blue and Maize may have bought up a couple arcades worth of memorabilia, but Michigan State had our comic book collection first! (http://comics.lib.msu.edu/).

    Go Green and White! We'll see the rodents on the Football field.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I really like this idea. As I get older, I often feel nostalgia for the games I played as a kid, but I just can't justify the amount of time, money, and most of all physical space involved in keeping old games/systems around. Going into a library to scratch these occasional itches would be a perfect solution for me.

    Plus, it's important to start thinking about preservation projects now. We always assume that because things are digital, they can hold up forever, but that's just not true. A lot of the companie

    • by Seumas (6865)

      These projects seem like an utter waste. The only way to actually preserve this stuff is to wipe out the DRM and preserve the code in an accessible format. Cartridges die. Discs die. Floppies die. The readers for these things die. The players for them die. The controllers for them die. Over time, preservation and usability of the code itself (ie, ability to use on emulators of all kinds) is the only viable goal of archival.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Well, they die in part because nobody really takes care of them. You could say the same thing about old books or works of art, yet the preservation of those is a precise science these days. If all that mattered was the contents, we could digitize or replicate all of it. But we don't. We don't just throw old tomes through Google's book scanner and then toss them into the recycle bin. The spine of a 1,500-year-old book may not hold any particular value to people who make books today, but we keep them around b

      • by Yvan256 (722131)

        The goal should be the preservation of the code AND the artwork that goes along with it. Boxes, carts labels, discs overlays, posters, manuals, etc.

        Otherwise, you're going to miss historic details like the extremely crappy artwork of the North-American release of Mega Man [wikipedia.org].

      • by grumbel (592662)

        The readers and players are part of the experience, just like they joysticks, keyboard and all the rest of the hardware. Just backing up the code and throwing it in an emulator works reasonably well, but you lose a lot in the process and unless you have actual hardware to compare to, you can't even be sure your emulator is even working correctly.

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      This is where emulators such as MAME come in handy. It may be hard to re-create some specialized interfaces such as the Intellivision controller, but believe me, that's no loss in most cases.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      As I get older, I often feel nostalgia for the games I played as a kid, but I just can't justify the amount of time, money, and most of all physical space involved in keeping old games/systems around

      If you try, you inevitably end up spending more time troubleshooting, repairing, and configuring these machines than actually playing them. Old controllers need cleaning, old electrolytic capacitors need replacing, old video ports need to be modded to work on modern displays. It's a lot like having a classic c

      • by Pope (17780)

        Nah, they could just keep a bunch of old Trinitrons in the back for displays. Those things are tanks.

      • Right, archiving is a total waste. Who needs the Rosetta Stone when we can just translate to English and throw the original away? That's certainly efficient, and will have no detrimental effects on our understanding of history. Maybe we can convert all records of human learning and knowledge into tweets or lolspeak and burn all original texts, no point in trying to justify the impracticality of maintaining anything that isn't current or faddish.

        On a related note, I was involved in an exhibition that featur
        • by Hatta (162192)

          Right, archiving is a total waste.

          What made you think I was advocating anything like that? I was speaking from personal experience. I have a couple dozen classic consoles and classic computers hooked up in my basement, and I spend more time curating than playing. Nothing about that means that museums aren't worthwhile. All it means is that if you're a gamer, you should think hard about getting into collecting because it might not be what you actually want to do.

          For those who like playing with old techno

          • Sorry, my bad-- I was a little riled up by all the "Herp derp, wasting tax dollars for game related programs" trolling on the thread, and vented on you. My apologies.
  • When I toured the campus a few months back, I was more interested in the 3d lab they have setup across the hall. http://um3d.dc.umich.edu/ [umich.edu]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    just wanted to mention that the SF Bay Area has a non-profit video game museum in Oakland called the MADE (Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment). these folks are really doing great work keeping the memory of video games alive with a huge variety of consoles stretching back all the way to the Magnavox Odyssey, thousands of video game titles, and a dozen or more stations where you can play any game you want, whenever they're open. There are lots of events happening there, like Fight Night tournaments, indi

  • "Michigan State is the national champ party school? Not on my watch!"

  • ....is that it is two buildings over from me. Taunting me. Mocking me.

    "Hey, I know that I probably cost you some decent grades in school, but that was *YEARS* ago. How's about me and you get together for lunch. For old times sake.
    Sincerely,
    1943 [wikipedia.org]

    P.S. Remember that "special" controller. I do. XOXOXO"

    I can't. I want to....but I can't...Must....continue...working....soul-sucking job.....

  • Considering how many hours and quarters I wasted in the early 80's at the Crosseyed Moose, Mickey Rat's, Flipper McGee's and that other upstairs place (the name eludes me at the moment, but it was on State St. sorta NW from the LSA building) . . . even though the summary doesn't mention arcade games.
  • If I make a will, I think I will leave my games to these people. It's good that the games can keep getting used.
    • by lewi (806353)

      If I make a will, I'll leave my money to the games! They'll be taken good care of by my money as each game is given only the best filtered electricity and a nightly rubdown.

      I would leave my money to my pet cat but she'd probably just waste it anyway...

      Honestly - I wish there were more of these archives or at the very least that every science museum devote a section to video game technology.

  • ...because that would give me the one excuse I need [wikipedia.org] to go there!

    You've not played Galaxian until you've played it on a super-wide 200 inch screen with five other players!

  • - Underwater battle with drowning There is no so-called oxygen values ??in [url=http://www.guildwars2buygold.com][b]Guild Wars 2 Gold retailer[/b][/url], you will not be living in the water to be distracted worrying about their hypoxic been worried hypoxia experience will only make trouble, not the people to enjoy the game. You can quickly cross the surface of the water, but when the surface of the water, you will not be able to use any skills, not to attack any target. However, if you choose to dive into

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin

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