Unless you’ve got an N64 and a cartridge from 1997, it’s impossible to play Goldeneye 007. The game that turned millions of gamers onto first person shooters is really hard to legally play. Nintendo hasn’t reissued a digital version of the game and has never re-released it. This is about more than wanting to play an old game—Goldeneye 007 is a historic artwork.
What does it mean to preserve a video game? Is it just the code, or does the box, the manual, and the other ephemera matter just as much? What happens when preserving a piece of history means breaking the law? Who are the people doing the hard work of preserving the history of video games?
Welcome to RESET: The Unauthorized Guide to Video Games, a new television show from VICE and Waypoint that tackles the complicated and fascinating world of the world’s new favorite pastime. This week on RESET, Dexter Thomas tours the world of radical preservationists who work day and night to recover forgotten elements of the early history of video games.
“You don’t expect to save everything. What we’re doing is more to slow down the bleeding,” Frank Cifaldi, the co-director of the Video Game History Foundation, told Thomas after showing off the Foundation’s Gamepro collection.
New episodes of RESET premiere at 10pm EST on VICE TV.