Thursday, September 24, 2015

Memory card Archeology

If there's one thing that I've both loved and hated about video game consoles in the past 20 years, it's the invention of the memory card. Before disc based consoles came around it was handy to write down a password or use a battery backup to save your progress. When discs started taking over the only logical concept was to use a memory card.

Although memory cards weren't always perfect, often times third party memory cards would fail and erase your progress, I eventually came to have a love hate relationship with them. As the years went by memory cards have fallen out of favor, as now hard drives are much easier to incorporate into a console and allows the user to just save and go on without the hassle of finding the right memory card, etc. At this point my love for memory cards has started to grow, now that they've fallen out of favor, as now I find them to be almost forgotten relics of a bygone video game era.

Not only are memory cards relics from the standpoint of technology, but they're relics in the sense that you can go hunting within them, much like the catacombs or Egyptian tombs. You see, I've acquired quite a few memory cards from many different thrift stores, etc. and within most of them are hidden and forgotten data, data that tells a story.

While many people would most likely look at a memory card and clear it for their own usage, I tend to have a weird, deeper feeling toward the data stored on memory cards I've found. Just like myself, these game saves aren't just overnight accomplishments. Most of them, I'm sure, have taken weeks, months or even years of work and dedication to achieve.

Playstation, N64, Dreamcast, PS2, Gamecube and even memory cards for the original Xbox have fallen into my lap throughout my many treks to thrift stores. Almost all of them have sacred, forgotten data stored upon them. Sure, if I own the game I'll go through and see what the progress is and if it's better than mine, perhaps I'll keep it. Sometimes I do delete the saves and make room for my own data, but I almost always check the game progress on that save, and I usually feel a bit uneasy as if it was someone erasing my own data before my very eyes.

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