UT archive preserves video game history

UT archive preserves video game history
Sunday, December 26, 2010 - 11:00am

AUSTIN — Earlier this year, Austin attorney Richard Anton was looking to get rid of his old, unused Apple II Plus computer.

Then his wife found out about the University of Texas' Videogame Archive, an effort to preserve gaming history that was started three years ago by some of the godfathers of the Austin gaming scene.

Anton ended up donating the computer and a stack of software to the archive, which operates as part of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

An intern got the computer working and used it to play a copy of "Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress," which was created by Richard Garriott, one of the aforementioned godfathers.

"I'm glad it's working, and I'm glad there's some interest in it," said Anton, who said he spent about $3,500 for the computer and assorted peripherals in the early 1980s.

Since the archive started in 2007, thanks to the efforts of Garriott and fellow gaming legends Warren Spector and George Sanger, a music composer, the center has amassed more than 1,500 video games and about 200 linear feet of design documents, game proposals, internal correspondence and concept art, as well as much more, said digital archivist Zach Vowell.

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