[PS4Blog.net Interview] Digital Game Museum On LRG
The Digital Game Museum and Limited Run Games have collaborated on a very interesting project, so we got in touch with the museum to talk a bit about it.
PS4Blog: Hi Dave! I know you, and you know me, but our readers probably don’t, so could you please introduce yourself and tell them a bit about your work?
Sure! I’m Dave Beaudoin. I’ve been working with the Digital Game Museum (http://www.digitalgamemuseum.org) for about three years as a Board Member and Collections Manager, and right now I’m serving as the interim Executive Director of the museum.
We are a non-profit, volunteer-based organization located in Santa Clara, California, just a few miles from the original Atari headquarters. We’ve been operating for seven years and are one of the oldest professionally managed museums dedicated to the preservation of game culture and history in the United States. Our collection covers games, consoles, internal company documentation, and marketing collateral from the 1970s up until today, and is held in trust for the public, which means that it belongs to anyone reading this interview!
PS4B: And speaking of the Digital Game Museum, you’re here with a very special announcement, right? And… go!
Yes! We’re very excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Limited Run Games to preserve copies of their physical releases! We’ve established a dedicated Limited Run Games collection to catalog and share the unique art and production that goes into Limited Run Games releases.
PS4B: How did this collaboration come to be?
We actually reached out to Limited Run Games to see if they would be interested in working with us to preserve the work they’re doing. As the overall industry shifts to digital delivery, we’re preserving more and more marketing artifacts like t-shirts, posters, statues, and artwork. By preserving Limited Run Games releases, we’re not just getting an opportunity to archive physical versions of games, we’re also able to document the continued consumer attachment to physical releases in the fact of increased digitization. These artifacts are going to be an important part of the overall arc of the industry down the line, and it’s an honor to be able to preserve them.
PS4: Collectors everywhere are probably screaming bloody murder because you opened the sealed Limited Run Game releases, killing their pristine essence. Anything you want to say to them?
Right. As a museum, we need to document and preserve every artifact we receive. We also prioritize preservation over play and restoration. In the same way, you wouldn’t put cereal in an ancient clay bowl or put new arms on the Venus De Milo, we treat our artifacts with as much respect as possible. In many cases, removing shrink wrap and separating components is a critical step in ensuring their long term preservation.
Game artifacts are very complex in terms of chemical makeup compared to many of the artifacts you would expect to see in a museum. Plastics, rubbers, silicon, and different metals all degrade over time at different rates, releasing chemicals that can harm each other. By opening sealed artifacts, we can make sure those gasses escape and do as little harm as possible, and in some cases we completely separate individual components to improve long-term sustainability.
This is really one of the things that differentiate what we do from the collector community. We’re preserving the artifact for education and research, which has completely different goals than preservation for collection or value. In fact, we tend to argue that some of our artifacts contain such a wealth of history that they are truly priceless, and it’s important that we make them available to anyone who wants to see them.
PS4B: Will future releases from Limited Run Games also be added to this collection?
That’s the plan! We’ve talked to Limited Run Games, and they’ll be sending us sets of new games every so often. The founding donation encompasses the original fifty Limited Run Games releases as well as some marketing collateral for other games and Limited Run Games.
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have today. Would you like to add anything else?
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. We’re really excited to be making the new collection available to the public. The entire Limited Run Games collection is available to browse on our website, and we’re always looking for help and support to continue the important work of preserving games. If you’d like to get involved or make a donation to help support the museum you can contact us, or email me at [email protected] for details on how you can help!