InterAction: Request to Purchase a Collection for University Archive

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    • #21367 Reply

      Hi all–

      I’m a long-time reader of the BBS board here at Sierra Gamers, a life-long player of Sierra games, and a graduate student working on the history of computers and video games. I am also the Curatorial Assistant to the “William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection” at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY. This collection has been developed for 2 years and will have its grand unveiling this Fall.

      One of the missions of this particular archive is to have an collection of material culture relating to video games, particularly video game magazines, guides, playbooks, etc. The Curator of the collection, Prof. Raiford Guins, is interested in obtaining issues of InterAction magazine–a complete collection, if possible.

      Thus, I wanted to send out a message on his behalf asking if anyone would be willing to part with all or part of their InterAction collection. I’m a collector myself, and know deeply how difficult it would be parting with my collection. But the tremendous benefit of such a collection is that these materials become safeguarded for posterity and available to fans and scholars everywhere for research material. The Video Game Collection is set up with the aid of Stony Brook University Library’s Special Collections Department, and all efforts are taken to ensure the material is properly cared for. We do have some ability to obtain small funds for such a purpose, although donations are always preferred.

      If you would be interested in discussing the terms of a donation or sale, please contact me at:

      Please offer a description of the range your collection covers, the level of wear, and whether you would like to sell or donate. This is a great opportunity for anyone whose collection has been taking up space but is hesitant to part with it. Please consider donating your piece of Sierra history to the future of video game studies.

      Many thanks,
      Laine Nooney
      Stony Brook University

    • #21368 Reply

      I wish you luck… I don’t know anyone off hand who has all the issues. And those that do, are probably tattered and torn and fragile. And those that aren’t, I would be hard pressed to think if they had all the issues, and in great condition, that they’d part with it. The Sierra Community is full of “Collectors” of all things Sierra! 🙂 I do know there’s PDFs of almost all the issues, if not all of them, available here. But you probably want the “authentic” thing.

    • #21369 Reply

      Pretty cool – a Game Studies Collection at a university – I love it! Definitely sounds like something I’d be interested in visiting one day! I think most of us here have been grateful for the PDF archive that Tawmis mentioned, so that we can at least read the issues we’re missing from our collections. There’s one issue in there where the scans aren’t that great, but for the most part, it’s a fantastic reproduction of the entire InterAction library. Since you mention research, the PDF archive here does serve the purpose of providing all of the material for research purposes, for everyone around the world to download.

    • #21370 Reply

      Hey guys–

      Thanks for the feedback. I’m aware we’re hunting down something pretty rare, but one has to start somewhere. You’d be surprised at the 100s of materials we already have, including stuff with potentially smaller press runs than InterAction. We’ve already got a few issues, donated by large scale collectors who had copies not because of any interest in Sierra specifically, but because they wanted extensive materials collections.

      The PDFs are a great resource, and one I make use of quite a bit–a chapter of my dissertation is on Sierra (I had an intention of doing oral histories at one point, as some of you may remember, but it has turned out to be too large of a project for just a diss). Unfortunately, a university can’t reproduce these magazines on their own website because of copyright issues, and keeping digital copies on file creates digital media obsolescence concerns, although that’s a potential option for any issues we can’t get ahold of. One reason we go after the real magazines (beyond the importance of studying the physical object) is that websites don’t last forever. Even this website might have closed its doors had Andy not stepped in to maintain it. It’s not hard to imagine that a century from now no one will have even heard of Sierra, and this website will be long gone, and no one’s grandchildren will be all that interested in holding onto a box a magazines from some late 20th century video game company. Our preservation goals are long term, aimed at outliving any of us…not to be too morbid 😉 Point being, we’ll even take donations of individual issues, if that’s all someone has.

      If anyone’s interested in video game archives, they’re actually a bit more common than you might think, and you might even live near one! There’s game archives of varying sorts at several schools in CA, in Texas, Michigan, and some smaller ones escaping my memory right now. If you live in the northeast or Canada, the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, NY is an awesome sight, with extensive collections of material and digital artifacts. The Smithsonian will also have a video game art exhibition up (within the next year, I think), so you should check that out…although sadly, Sierra isn’t in it.

      Anyway, thanks for your thoughts! And if anyone has any questions or thoughts, I’m always happy to chat.


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