One of the most tragic stories in recent gaming history actually has a happy ending. Game preservationist “Byuu” had been crowdsourcing their efforts to preserve gaming history with an SNES preservation project. In the process, Byuu developed a rapport with a European collector, sending boxes of games back and forth. Tragedy struck when a package containing almost ten thousand dollars’ worth of SNES games was lost by USPS. The tragedy helped the news spread, and USPS took enough notice to actually be useful for once and search for the package.
This was such a huge blow to the SNES preservation project, Byuu had actually cancelled the effort entirely and shifted over to asking for donations to help repay the debt for, again, thousands of dollars of games. Byuu was borrowing the games, dumping the contents, and sending them back.
Coverage of this issue eventually made it back to USPS, and a renewed effort to locate the shipment was underway, presumably for PR purposes. The shipment was eventually located, and Byuu has, in celebratory fashion, announced the SNES preservation project is back on. Any donations made towards repurchasing the missing games are being returned as well. Hooray!
The messier part of this news is that is really exposes how poor the efforts to preserve game history from the official sources, the rights holders, publishers and developers. People care about games and game history like any other form of art and are clearly going to great lengths to do what should already be happening from the corporate side. Hopefully Byuu sees more success in the future and USPS doesn’t lose any more crucial packages.