National Videogame Archive Digital Preservation Elevator Pitch

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We are the holders of the National Videogame Archive, a collection of videogames software, hardware and related material held at the National Media Museum. We aim to preserve videogames for the future so audiences can track the history and impact of the medium, and play them for themselves. 

Many of the videogames are currently stored on unreliable, lossy magnetic formats such as audio cassettes, floppy discs, cartridges and CDs. The Museum 'aspires to the highest international museum standards in the care and preservation of collections' yet if we don't move quickly these digital files could easily fade away. To help keep these games alive and easily accessible to the public we need to remove the reliance on the original hardware - the hardware is important but will eventually fail. Continual use will degrade the condition of the hardware - we need to find a robust, future proof solution that ensures these digital files can still be accessed and experienced in their accurate, original design in decades to come.

We propose -

- to begin extracting file data from the original portable media and copying it to a secure, digital repository. This will require additional staff time and resources (volunteer/intern placement), new disc extraction hardware and a new networked drive that is regularly backed up (approx £2000 for 1tb of storage).

- to begin a parallel collection of game emulation software and associated game files so all the games are playable. These files should be linked to our current MIMSY collections database system to ensure records are preserved and easy to find. This will require additional staff time and resources to research usable, reliable and accurate emulation systems and include efforts to work in partnerships with peer institutions working in similar areas to avoid unnecessary duplication.

- seek copyright from game publishers/developers to copy files legally and display within the public galleries. This will help build relationships with the games industry and formalise archival practice for videogames. 

- create maintainable solutions to present playable games in the research centre and the public gallery. Study how the public interpret and use the games and aim to provide an accessible archive of content that will grow over time and increase visitors and institutional reputation.

- publish research findings and join a network of game preservation experts to ensure solutions are reliable and suitable for the long-term future. 


Aim: to draw together the business case components into a coherent form, expressed in the extremely compressed format of the imaginary elevator pitch.

General hints:

  • pick a target audience from your stakeholder analysis. Are you talking to senior managers? Your IT department? Students? Library staff?
  • think of they key ideas or themes and show how they run through the whole pitch, don't swamp the listener with too much detail
  • run through the pitch a few times to make sure it flows. Aim to speak for around 30-60 seconds.

Structure (based on

1. Describe who you are

Hint: keep it short. What do they need to know and what do they not need to know?

2. Describe what you do

Here is where you state your value phrased as key results or impact. To organize your thoughts, it may help to think of this as your tag line. This should allow the listener to understand how you would add value.

Hint: think about the language you are using. Is it appropriate for your audience? Too technical or not technical enough?

3. Describe why you are unique

Now it's time to show the unique benefits that you bring to the institution. Show what you do that is different or better or creates new opportunities.

Hint: going back to your benefits and stakeholder analysis, think about the benefits that matter for your audience. What do they care about? Show how what you do meets their needs and concerns.

4. Describe your immediate goals

Goals should be concrete, defined, and realistic. Include a time frame. This is the final step and it should be readily apparent to the listener what you are asking of him or her.

Hint: taking from the skills gap analysis, make it clear that what you are asking for is essential to the mission you have described.

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