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

Roblimo posted about a year and a half ago | from the new-and-old-games-side-by-side-for-you-to-play dept.

Emulation (Games) 55

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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55 comments

Your tax dollars at work. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41152111)

This is exactly why we need to do away with publicly funded education. This type of shit would never fly in the private sector. Remember this story the next time you get your tax bill.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41152199)

This is exactly why we need to do away with publicly funded education. This type of shit would never fly in the private sector. Remember this story the next time you get your tax bill.

You fool. Universities offer video game production programs of study, they have for years.

Back to the Stygian Abyss with you!

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (0)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#41152697)

Also a waste.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41152851)

That is Gender Studies you are thinking of.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41155269)

That is true. There is no need to be able to be employed by a billion dollar industry.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (1)

scot4875 (542869) | about a year and a half ago | (#41158269)

Let me guess: you're one of those that's all in favor of turning our institutions of higher learning into trade schools?

--Jeremy

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41154621)

Universities are places of learning. If one can get a job with what they learn cool, if they dont who cares? Learning for learning sake is still appreciated by some.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41155529)

This is exactly why we need to do away with publicly funded education. This type of shit would never fly in the private sector. Remember this story the next time you get your tax bill.

You fool. Universities offer video game production programs of study, they have for years.

Back to the Stygian Abyss with you!

Yes tax dollars at work to educate a new generation of game developers. You may not realize how large a role entertainment plays in the global economy, and how domination of foreign companies in gaming will further contribute to the US trade deficit and distribution of global wealth.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (4, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41152349)

Yet im sure you have no problem wasting millions a year on sports programs. Video games are a viable human activity.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (2)

tomhath (637240) | about a year and a half ago | (#41153065)

wasting millions a year on sports programs

We're talking about colleges here, not trade schools; museums, music programs, sports programs, social clubs, liberal arts courses, etc. are all part of the college experience. And besides, Michigan's sports programs make many millions of dollars profit for the school.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41153437)

You took my statement as binary. 'Wasting millions of dollars on sports programs' wasnt meant ot imply that all sports programs are bad, merely that sports spending isnt nearly under the same kind of scrutiny as other equally valid activities. A HORRENDOUSLY disproportionate amount of money is spent on sports. More is spent on sports then is received back to students as services so your millions in profit argument is null. Sports profits prop up an ever increasing sports program, its not the net gain you are trying to make it up to be. Sports have their place in education, but its not at the head of the table.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (1)

tomhath (637240) | about a year and a half ago | (#41156059)

More is spent on sports then is received back to students as services so your millions in profit argument is null.

Without knowing what you mean by "received back" I can't respond. However, I went to a large university with a well known sports program (NOT Penn State, which was a very bad exception) and never felt that students were not served by the sports program or that it was "at the head of the table".

As far as "HORRENDOUSLY disproportionate", it's nowhere near what you seem to think. Michigan has a total budget of something over $5 Billion, their athletic program has a budget of around $120 Million (about 2.5%, probably typical for a large university). Not trivial, but like most large programs it pretty much pays its own way. Smaller schools subsidize more but the budget is much smaller.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (1)

guanxi (216397) | about a year and a half ago | (#41162571)

In general, I think you are right about sports in higher education, but ...

More is spent on sports then is received back to students as services

I'm not sure what you mean, but Michigan's athletic department pays for itself and makes a profit. Nothing is taken away from the rest of the university.

One challenge schools have is that sports programs are great publicity. Win and applications increase. As a simple example, who heard of Gonzaga before they started winning basketball games?

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (2)

cohensh (1358679) | about a year and a half ago | (#41154081)

Michigan's athletic department is on it's own budget. It doesn't get money from the university, and it doesn't give money directly to the university.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#41154577)

Michigan's sports programs make many millions of dollars profit for the school.

Michigan is a rare exception, if that's true. Most collegiate athletics come no where near to making a profit. Getting rid of all of them and putting their money back into the education budget would be a net win for education.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (2)

dmomo (256005) | about a year and a half ago | (#41152551)

Any word on how this library is funded? I didn't see anything saying that the University is paying for it. And if so, I don't see anything about what percentage of the funding comes from public tax-paid funds. That's but one revenue source for public universities.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41153277)

http://vpcomm.umich.edu/budget/fundingsnapshot/index.html

UM's endowment is 16.9% state supported. It's more private than public.

Re:Your tax dollars at work. (1)

macwhizkid (864124) | about a year and a half ago | (#41154093)

This is exactly why we need to do away with publicly funded education. This type of shit would never fly in the private sector. Remember this story the next time you get your tax bill.

Umich researcher here (full-time staff, part time comp sci student)... yes, I wish my tuition was a bit lower, especially since I'm a self-funded student. But we have one of the top CS programs in the country (and arguably the best outside of Silicon Valley). The only way you can build and maintain a program like that is to have resources like this available to the students to experiment with and learn from. It's an investment, not an expense.

By the way, don't worry too much about your tax bill. Our state legislature is doing their best to defund us all the way to zero (last time I checked, state money was less than 10% of the U-M budget).

The voice that still haunts me (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41152143)

Another visitor .. stay a while, stay forever!

Re:The voice that still haunts me (1)

wasteoid (1897370) | about a year and a half ago | (#41152383)

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!

Re:The voice that still haunts me (1)

LiquidMind (150126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41156709)

someone +1 him for obscure C64 reference!

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

Typical Wolverines.. (1)

phrackwulf (589741) | about a year and a half ago | (#41152287)

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.

Re:Typical Wolverines.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41153319)

Typical douchebag MSU/UM bland rivalry comment with unecessary vitriol. It's tasteless when either side does it.

Great idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41152321)

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 companies who made the old hardware didn't bother to keep things like schematics, so having the physical objects in a cared-for environment is going to be huge in another few decades.

Re:Great idea (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#41152755)

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:Great idea (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41153033)

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 because there's still a cultural value in having the physical form that holds the content. Maybe not for you, but for a lot of people.

Re:Great idea (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | about a year and a half ago | (#41155101)

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].

Re:Great idea (1)

grumbel (592662) | about a year and a half ago | (#41162577)

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.

Re:Great idea (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about a year and a half ago | (#41152759)

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.

Re:Great idea (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#41154739)

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 car collection in that way. Cool and fun, but not really practical.

Re:Great idea (1)

Pope (17780) | about a year and a half ago | (#41155491)

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

Re:Great idea (2)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | about a year and a half ago | (#41155505)

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 featured some work by Nam June Paik, the video artist-- the curator had to dig up a laserdisc player for the show since that's how his work was originally archived. It was a PITA, but that's how his estate wanted it... to preserve the "original" video.

Re:Great idea (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#41155783)

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 technology as much as they like playing old games, it's a blast.

Re:Great idea (1)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | about a year and a half ago | (#41157513)

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.

There are other places like this... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41152615)

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, indie dev presentations followed by standup nerd comedy, game jams, programming education for kids, and more. here's the link: http://www.themade.org/

Needs more... (1)

JTD121 (950855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41152657)

SNK stuff. You know, NeoGeo, and the MVS arcade systems. Of course, for the MVS, they can charge like $.50 per play or something to get some extra funding. But then I imagine the incredible amount of space required for a couple of these, and I just cry :(

Flash? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41152713)

You need to have the Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

You need to realize that this is 2012 and Flash is not needed to play videos anymore.

Re:Flash? (1)

Bahamut_Omega (811064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41168563)

"It is the nineties and it is time for Klax" At least it isn't an outdated catchphrase like I just quoted. On the other hand, the gameplay was rather good for an arcade puzzle game.

I am disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41152939)

They have Rock Band, DJ Hero and Guitar Hero. They have Kinect, Wii and PS Move.

They don't have Dance Dance Revolution, Beatmania or Pump It Up.

This disappoints me. Perhaps I should drive over there and give them my copies.

The worst part about that damn place (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | about a year and a half ago | (#41153525)

....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.....

Good City For It (1)

tgeek (941867) | about a year and a half ago | (#41154273)

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.

Good Idea (1)

Squiddie (1942230) | about a year and a half ago | (#41154955)

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.

Re:Good Idea (1)

lewi (806353) | about a year and a half ago | (#41162977)

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.

Congratulations! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41156105)

Congratulations Dave Carter and the entire U of M Computer and Video Game Archive Team. What a detailed video filled with explanation and a thorough visual tour. I met Dave once nicest guy in the world but he can only give you about 15 minutes. That busy. The music room filled with microphones and dance simulations looks fun, easy, and must provide a real mental release for many students. Lets all encourage Dave and his Archive Team to forget the "librarians are shy" sterotype and ASK FOR WHAT THEY REALLY WANT. TALK ABOUT THE GOALS MORE. IF YOU REALLY WANT ONE OF EVERYTHING TEAM TALK OR POST SOMEWHERE WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE SO THAT CAN BECOME A REALITY. NEVER KILL YOUR DREAM. There are places all over the US where old working video game and computer treasures are just sitting in basements or attics. Many people probably have games that they loved playing and stored carefully and would love to have their gems find a home in your archive. May the Pac Man Fever in us all never end.

I wonder if they have a Galaxian 3 theatre (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year and a half ago | (#41159175)

...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!

cheap guild wars 2 (1)

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