Goodbye boring museum pieces, hello interactive gaming display.
In co-operation with the European based KEEP (Keeping Emulation Environments Portable), UK based Portsmouth University have joined an ambitious €4 million plan that aims to save old video games from the 'digital black hole' by developing the world's first general purpose emulator and archival system.
And yes, even though it sounds like the famous archade emulator MAME, it's not. It's bigger than that.
The project aims to safeguard old game files in the same way that aging literary works are now being digitally archived online, including Google's large database of books.
And once all those gaming files are securely stored away, the project aims to go one step further by developing emulation software that can play all those files. From magnetic tape to 5.25 inch floppies to those awful Iomega Zip discs were popular for about two weeks. The project's ultimate aim is to design an emulator that will play the entire lot. Every. Single. File.
Computer historian Dr Janet Delve, also attached to the project, said in a press statement that "...every digital file risks being either lost by degrading or by the technology used to 'read' it disappearing altogether. Former generations have left a rich supply of books, letters and documents which tell us who they were, how they lived and what they discovered. There's a very real risk that we could bequeath a blank spot in history."
Games expert Dan Pinchbeck, who is also offering his gaming expertise to the project, made clear that this is better than anything out there on the net currently, in terms of MAME style emulators.
"The difference with emulation is that you are freed from these problems. Every time hardware, software, operating systems or anything else upgrade, the KEEP machine just emulates on this new platform. It means it is as future-proof as these things get", Pinchbeck said.
In the meantime, if you can't wait for the world's biggest emulator to be built, you can still get started playing old video games. The MAME website provides all the software and know-how that a die-hard arcade fan could ever want.
|Remembering the glory days of arcade gaming.