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Library of Congress finds an unreleased Duke Nukem game in its archives

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A technician for the Library of Congress has discovered an unreleased Duke Nukem game in the Library’s archives. The technician, named David Gibson, works for the Library’s Moving Image section, which he described as “the custodial unit for video games”.

Gibson noted that this section of the Library receives somewhere around 400 video games every year through the copyright registration process. The Library is occasionally sent ancillary materials such as gameplay videos or pieces of source code. In this instance, Gibson stumbled upon a DVD-R that was labeled “Duke Nukem: Critical Mass (PSP)”.

“My first assumption was that the disc, like so many others we have received, was a DVD-R of gameplay,” Gibson stated in a Library of Congress blog post. “However, a line of text on the Copyright database record for the item intrigued me. It reads: ‘Authorship: Entire video game; computer code; artwork; and music.'”

“I placed the disc into my computer’s DVD drive to discover that the DVD-R did not contain video, but instead a file directory, including every asset used to make up the game in a wide variety of proprietary formats. I realized then that in my computer was the source disc used to author the UMD for an unreleased PlayStation Portable game,” the technician explained. “I could feel the lump in my throat. I felt as though I had solved the wizard’s riddle and unlocked the secret door.”

Unfortunately for Duke Nukem fans, Gibson was unable to share the contents of the disc as the contents are all copyrighted material. “The legal and logistical hurdles related to providing access to licensed software will continue to present themselves as we move forward but I hope that increased focus on the tremendous research value of such digital assets will allow for these items to be more accessible in the future,” the archivist said.

Read more about the story at IGN.

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