The primary purpose of a video game is to play it. For a decade, we have been witnessing a turning point. Retrogaming is now affiliated with art. Gameplay, scenario, graphics, cover art... video games are above all contemplative. It is therefore not surprising that some games are considered as masterpieces, starting with the blisters.
When a player discovered the first hour of Shenmue on Dreamcast, he could say:
"I am not playing a video game, I am now interacting with a work of art. "
Contrary to popular belief, the blister pack has its own story. It tells a story. It shows what a new game looked like in a store in the 1980s, 1990s or 2000s. It allows us to immerse ourselves, for a moment, in a store shelf at the time when the consoles of yesteryear were marketed. The production, marketing and logistics of the industry are subjects that have been very little documented.
It is necessary to put ourselves in the context of a time when unsold products meant destruction. It is thus astonishing to discover blisters having crossed the ages without having been opened. It is impressive to find new games 30 years later. It's even a feat.
In the nineties, some games were produced in ultra limited quantities, we are talking about a few thousand pieces for Megaman X3 Super Nintendo. Is there a brand new copy of this SNES title somewhere? If so, this copy will absolutely have to be saved from an opening.
Rigid blisters are typical of France. They exist in other countries but it is anecdotal. Collectors all over the world envy this new game format. It's up to us to make these rigid cases last over time, to document them. It is impossible to say today if all the games of a machine were sold in rigid. It is by finding new titles in this package that we can establish a list. Perhaps we should have been concerned about preserving the rigid blister packs 20 - 30 years ago?
On Dreamcast, I've been looking for 8 years to know if Evolution 2 and Taxi existed in rigid. They are games published by Ubisoft. The other games of the editor all exist in rigid format so why not them ? The copies of the BNF have been opened. It is therefore not possible to know because nobody thought of listing them at the time.
On the last Sega machine, deadstocks are numerous. Many people buy games in soft blister to change the blue boxes which are fragile. But stocks are not infinite, the source is drying up. Eleven years ago, we would see new game shippings boxes every day on Ebay, now if we see 10 a year, we are happy. Maybe they would be wise to consider keeping a few copies of soft blisters so they never open them.
In preservation, associations are against the blister because for them, only the content matters. Except that the majority of titles on all machines are already preserved and distributed in associations or museums all over the world. So why open them if it has already been done by someone else. Shouldn't the blister be preserved ?
What do you think? Should we consider the blister pack as an important part of the video game and preserve it as we would a used title ?
Correction to the article : Régis Monterrin
His little website is very nice : http://www.terredejeux.net/