As time goes on and technology brings new game consoles to the scene, we are often left to watch our favorite games and systems fade into obscurity. In times before digital media started taking hold, games were physical and tangible additions to your console's collection, something you could hold onto and possess.
I still have cartridges for my original NES console. Hell, I still have a LYNX system and all the games that my parents generously bestowed on me over the years as I grew up. While some "retro" games have made it onto new-age and mainstream digital storefronts, in many cases having physical possession of these relics is the only way I can access them anymore.
This conundrum becomes especially difficult as we consider games that are restricted to only digital releases. While it's understandable that, as consoles change, various companies would stop supporting their older content, that leaves us to worry about losing access to digitally exclusive titles that we won't have any other chance of obtaining unless the decision is made to re-distribute them on another platform's store.
Back in February, Nintendo announced that it would be shutting down its 3DS and WiiU storefronts. While this isn't happening until 2023, it's still an inevitability faced by most storefronts as the world of gaming evolves and changes. How, then, do we best preserve gaming history without violating various copyrights and IPs?
This has been on my mind since I came across an excellent article from The Verge on the topic. It poses the question, "So how can we ensure that older games can be enjoyed by future generations without the expense of maintaining aging digital infrastructure or violating existing copyright laws? Video game preservationists are doing the work at the intersection between these two points."
The article is a very interesting read and I highly recommend taking a look at it if this topic interests you at all. In the meantime, if you'll excuse me: I'll be downstairs on my CRTV playing Contra on my NES.