- Preserving video game-related material for posterity is something that the folks at the San Francisco-based Internet Archive are committed to, alongside digital preservation of all kinds of other material, and it's something I've been helping them with for a few years now.

In particular, there are some good, active video-related collections as part of the Game Videos collection at the Archive right now - particularly the Speed Runs collection, which is run by the Speed Demos Archive, and the Machinima collection, run by Stanford University. The other collections have been semi-dormant for a while - but thanks to some help from new IGDA Preservation SIG volunteer Andrew Armstrong, there's some new goodness being uploaded.

I'm going to try to highlight various interesting, rare, or videos hosted on the Archive every week or so, starting with Dreamworks' EPK for 'The Neverhood' (click through to download) - and as noted: "Electronic Press Kit includes making of, Steven Spielberg [and Doug TenNapel] interviews, much fascinating/unseen behind the scenes material" for the cult 1996 Claymation adventure game. It's also important because, since it comes from before the Internet video streaming boom, a lot of EPK-style video from this period isn't available on anything apart from videotape.

This video actually originally came from Stewart Cheifet's collection - he's an Archive staffer who presented Computer Chronicles and Net Cafe for many years. Click below to go to the Archive page where you can stream or download the movie (I tried embedding, but Movable Type didn't like it, for some reason - better safe than sorry!)

Incidentally, why should we care about the Internet Archive keeping copies of these videos, when YouTube or Google Video or any number of other sites have videos available too? A couple of reasons - firstly, there are high-quality downloadable version of the media available, not just sometimes grainy streaming versions - but then, some sites such as GameTrailers do that too. But secondly, the Archive is a non-profit, and it's not going to ditch any of its old content or do commercially motivated things to it - it's just going to keep it and preserve it.

[A couple of other neat Internet Archive projects in other media I want to highlight - current projects with the Prelinger Library include adding to the Prelinger Archive ephemeral movie collection by digitizing some neat ephemeral books/magazines, adding to a gigantic book digitization project. I also like the new Center For Home Movies collection - more interesting stuff that would otherwise get lost. In addition, coming up, NASA has agreed a deal with the Internet Archive "...to scan, archive and manage the agency's vast collection of photographs, historic film and video" for free access. Awesome.]