By my count, this plucky little site has digitally archived, documented, and made public more than 70 pre-release (or never released) vintage video games–that includes all of the ones that have come into my hands, and others that were charitably donated by passionate folks around the country.

From building blocks to bingo brunches, playing is an inherently essential part of the human experience. It de-stresses us, teaches us, and keeps us healthy. I can trace the years through my choice of play, video games, and use them as markers in my life. Their plastic and silicon can have a transformative effect, and resurrect emotional experiences, unrepeatable moments, dormant ghosts of long ago friends and family, and bring those still with us closer together.

From my earliest conscious memory of gazing in awe at an underwater world in Super Mario Bros. blink alive, its background medley, at once, both alluring and lulling, video games have given me so much wonder, challenge, and escape that I wanted to give back. They saved me in my bleakest hour, and I believed it high time that I save them in theirs.

I kept a slyly apt prototype for the occasion, the definitive version of one of my all-time personal favorites: Pirates! Gold for the SEGA Genesis.

As a companion piece, I also wrote a shorter article about how a prolific Hollywood movie poster illustrator once sketched buccaneers for Sid Meier.