Interview: Andrew Borman (Strong Museum of Play, PtoPOnline)
28 Apr 2021 — Filed in: Interviews
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The Strong Museum of Play's digital games curator Andrew Borman describes his deep passion for uncovering and preserving cancelled, unreleased, and prototype games. This is so much more than a vocation for him, and here you get to hear all the stories and insights he shared with me when I interviewed him for the season 4 finale, The Ghosts of Games That Never Were.
Highlights include the stories behind cancelled Halo and Elder Scrolls games, an unreleased version of Until Dawn, an early version of Resident Evil 2, and some in-depth discussion about the significance of finding and sharing these stories. We also talk a bit about Andrew's work at The Strong and the amazing power and value of institutional backing in games preservation. (Links to stuff discussed are under the PtoPOnline banner image below.)
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This is entry number seven in a new series of interviews I'm running alongside the main show — every month-or-three I'll talk to a different person who's exploring games history, in one way or another, to learn about the many ways people are preserving the games industry's past as well as to further our understanding of how this wonderful medium (and the industry that's built around it) has come to be the way it is now.
The last one was with Sam Dyer from Bitmap Books. Before that, I got Kelsey Lewin of The Video Game History Foundation on to discuss retro game retailing, the VGHF, and offbeat histories. Then before that I talked about computer role-playing games with the author of The CRPG Addict blog. Other interviews include Shmuplations.com proprietor and Japanese-to-English translator extraordinaire Alex Highsmith. Follow the "games history explorers" tag or the Interviews category to see them all.
Interview conducted January 14th, 2021.
Links (many of these go to YouTube):
- I can't find a surviving archive of Andrew's Resident Evil 1.5 post, but here's a great Eurogamer article about the game and the community quest to preserve it
- The Strong Museum of Play
- Research fellowships at The Strong
- This page on The Tomb of Ash has info, screenshots, and download links for Core Design's cancelled Tomb Raider 10th Anniversary Edition
- Episode 31 of this show also included a segment on said 10th Anniversary Edition
- Tomb Raider's video game hall of fame entry
- Andrew has multiple videos on the Haggar Xbox demo build for a Halo Mega Bloks game. Here's the most recent one. And here's the first one.
- A video Andrew made about the Sonic Extreme skateboarding/hoverboarding game that turned into the Sonic Extreme we actually got
- Elder Scrolls Oblivion cancelled PSP game
- Andrew's Star Wars Battlefront 3 unseen PC footage video
- Andrew's video on Until Dawn's unreleased PS3 version
- VICE Gaming/Waypoint has an excellent Halo 1 oral history
- Manse was mentioned four times in Ambrosia Software's newsletter before its quiet cancellation
- Here's the Wikipedia page on Captain Comic
- Andrew's Stargate SG1: The Alliance hub page from his old website has both articles and videos
- Women in Games exhibit at The Strong
- Andrew Borman is @borman18 on Twitter
- I am @MossRC and @LifeandTimesVG on Twitter
Thank you to my Patreon supporters for making this episode possible — especially my producer-level backers Carey Clanton, Joel Webber, Scott Grant, Rob Eberhardt, Simon Moss, Seth Robinson, Wade Tregaskis, and Vivek Mohan.
To support my work, so that I can uncover more untold stories from video game history, you can make a donation via paypal.me/mossrc or subscribe to my Patreon. (I also accept commissions and the like over email or Ko-Fi, if you're after something specific.)