Microsoft donate to historical game archive

It’s good to know that while Roger Ebert, the state of California and conservative lobbyists may question the artistic value of video games, there is a concerted effort to preserve the medium’s history. In that spirit, Gamasutra reports that Microsoft are the latest organisation to donate to ICHEG, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games. They join recent donors Ralph Baer, creator of the Magnavox Odyssey, SimCity mastermind Will Wright, gaming site 1Up and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, who provided a $100,000 grant in May.

“ICHEG is delighted to collaborate with Microsoft to help preserve the company’s gaming history and bring attention to its extraordinary contributions to shaping the world of video games,” said ICHEG director Jon-Paul Dyson.

A selection of items from  Microsoft’s donation, which includes hardware, software, prototypes, merchandise and promotional material, will be on display at eGame Revolution section of The National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, while the rest of the material will be available for archived for research purposes.

ICHEG’s efforts are part of a move to chronicle over 30 years of video game history, an issue Gamasutra covered in January. The Smithsonian are preparing a similar exhibition called The Art of Video Games, which will run from March to September in 2012.