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Analog preservation of digital games history

Super Mario 64

Preservation of video games history can be often troublesome as so much information is already lost forever. It is not just the games, source codes, graphics/music/audio assets that are being lost, but also the PR materials.

These days journalists receive the promotional assets as downloads. Those are rarely saved afterwards but just used and then deleted. In earlier days of games industry the PR assets were usually physical – photos, negatives, dias and press releases on paper. Most assets from 1980s and 1990s have been lost but sometimes you make interesting discoveries from the old publications.

Like these very first promotional screenshots of Super Mario 64.

The screens didn’t ever exist in digital form but were provided to the magazines as 4×5″ transparencies. Most magazines used only one or two of the 2×2 grids but there was a total of six photo grids.

These screenshots were recovered from the layout files of the GamePro magazine, published from 1989 to 2011.

Are a old timer games journalist and have old PR assets, like old PR discs, photos, negatives or such in your archives? Please make sure those are preserved and not lost in time, to the digital graveyards.

Remember: game preservation can be sometimes very oldschool and analog!  

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