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Game Dev Archeology: Unearthing and Preserving Japanese Game History

Brandon Sheffield  (Necrosoft Games, Creative Director)

Date: Wednesday, August 5

Time: 8:00am - 8:30am

Pass Type: Conference Pass, Discovery Pass, Community Pass, Student Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Advocacy

Format: Community Content

Vault Recording: Video

I'm on a bus to the middle of nowhere, hunting for games I'm not even fully sure exist. I'm an hour late to meet my contact, the owner of an arcade rental service that he has been operating for 40 years. He knows how to spot me when I get off - I'm the only Caucasian in this small town of 10,000. He drives me through winding roads between rice paddies and suburban palaces to reach a small but stoic warehouse, Takai Shokai. As soon as I step through the doors, I see something I didn't even know existed. This is where my story of game archaeology truly begins.

Brandon Sheffield worked with Digital Eclipse as a writer and researcher on acclaimed retro compilations Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, SNK 40th Anniversary Collection, and Samurai Shodown Neo Geo Collection. This talk centers around his team's work trying to unearth, preserve, and properly highlight Japanese game history through official game releases.


Attendees will learn about the challenges, fun, and responsibilities of Japanese game preservation from a Western perspective. This talk is heaped with anecdotes about famous games, and games you've never heard of, learning the importance of treating both with equal care. Attendees will also learn a bit about the importance of preserving their own games, and historians will gain some tips on how to navigate difficult situations in their own preservation efforts.

Intended Audience

Anyone interested in the history of Japanese games, or games in general should gain something from this talk. All levels are welcome.