About the Video Game Heritage Institute

Family Playing Together

The Video Game Heritage Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Salt Lake County, Utah. Our mission is to preserve the cultural heritage of and promote the art of video games, and support other nonprofit organizations in their own missions. VGHI’s vision is to become a nexus of information on the art, science, and cultural impact of video games, and provide a comprehensive resource for all persons interested in or affected by interactive media.

Did you know?
Experts predict, due to hardware failures and data degradation, in as little as 10 years most video game titles from the 70's will be lost forever.

In 2014 Matt Steadman and Thayne Dickey, longtime friends in the Salt Lake City area, combined their own video game collections and started collecting from their friends. Shortly afterwards they learned that as it currently stands there really isn't much being done to preserve games for future generations. Realizing that the emerging situation was not unlike the situation in the film industry that unfolded in the first half of the 20th century, which resulted in the loss of the vast majority of all films before 1950, the Video Game Heritage Institute was born! This is a situation that seriously needs to be addressed.

After careful consideration of the importance and impact of video games, VGHI has 3 major goals that can be accomplished with following facilities:

  1. Preserve - Archive
    The VGHI Archive will protect games from time itself. Our current approach is to seal 3 copies of every game, and the necessary hardware to play the games, away in a climate controlled environment.
  2. Play - Library
    The VGHI Library will allow people to borrow certain titles, and play the games using all of the original equipment that the games were originally designed to be played with.
  3. Learn - Museum
    The VGHI Museum will focus on sharing the entire story of the games. Highlighting the impact that games have had on our culture at large, and the story of how they came to be.

At this stage, VGHI is still a very small organization and very much in need of your support. Unfortunately at the moment the establishment of any of these facilities is beyond our current financial capabilities. In addition to the continued efforts to establish the facilities mentioned above, we have a handful of smaller projects that can be accomplished using our current budgets.

  1. Charitable Arcade
    The Charitable Arcade project is our way of utilizing our mission to assist other nonprofit organizations in accomplishing their own. First, VGHI and another nonprofit organization (or a donor who has selected another nonprofit organization) split the cost to purchase of a classic coin-op arcade machine. Then VGHI restores the machine as neccesary and it is then set up for public enjoyment; typically this is at a local business who has generously provided the space for the machine. The machine is maintained by VGHI and proceeds from the game are split between VGHI and the other organization.
  2. Historical Sites
    The Video Game Heritage Institute is dedicated to preserving the history and stories of our favorite young medium. Our volunteers conduct research into certain monumental moments in the History of Video Games and we donate plaques to be placed at the locations of these events with a brief account of the events, as well as articles detailing the events on our website.

Preserving electronic resources is a prevailing problem in the library/archive industry and video games present a unique challenge. Show your support for VGHI today and save these games for future generations.