Gaming An unprecedented Nintendo leak turns into a moral dilemma for archivists

tom_mai78101

The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
Staff member
For the past week, Nintendo fans have resembled digital archaeologists. Following a massive leak of source code and other internal documents — appropriately dubbed the gigaleak — previously unknown details from the company’s biggest games have steadily trickled out. Those poring over the code have uncovered a new Animal Crossing villager, early prototypes for games like Pokémon Diamond, cut characters from Star Fox, a very weird Yoshi, and strange titles like a hockey RPG. Perhaps the biggest discovery has been a Luigi character model from Super Mario 64.

From a historical and preservationist perspective, the leak is an incredible find. It’s a rare look into the process and discarded ideas of one of the most influential — and secretive — companies in video games. But for those preservationists digging through the data, that excitement is tainted by a moral dilemma. The origins of the code leak are still largely unknown, but it’s likely that it was obtained illegally. That presents a pertinent question: does the source of the leak tarnish all that historians can learn from it?

“It puts a bad taste in my mouth a bit about the leak to be sure, but perhaps my curiosity about the data is overriding my moral compass somewhat in this case, because I can’t say I’m unhappy to see the data released,” says an archivist who goes by the handle MrTalida. “The volume of new knowledge and understanding that this leak has brought is at times overwhelming.”

Read more here. (The Verge)
 

Ghan

Administrator - Servers are fun
Staff member
I heard about this the other day. Very interesting stuff, and even more interesting how it may have been leaked. Hopefully Nintendo can find a way to handle this gracefully.
 

tom_mai78101

The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
Staff member
They're definitely going to stick to the 40 years long company stance of "We don't speculate or comment about things."
 

Ghan

Administrator - Servers are fun
Staff member
That's unfortunate. I think they have an opportunity here to gain favor with their fan base.
 
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