Video games: YouTube channel NoClip rescues tapes from landfill
It’s no secret that Danny O’Dwyer enjoys questing as a keen gamer.
It’s just that the documentary maker has embarked on a new journey.
From landfills and lost forever, he has saved thousands of tapes containing rare video game footage.
Danny claims to have saved hundreds of hours of gaming history. But now comes the real challenge – logging and preserving everything.
Danny is known for producing making-of documentaries about top games including Final Fantasy, Rocket League, Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Last of Us and God of War on his YouTube channel NoClip.
One of his contacts tipped him off to a media company in San Francisco sitting on a huge collection of tapes he would definitely want to see.
Danny had other ideas, so it threw them out.
After renting a truck, he drove boxes and boxes of tapes back to his studio. That made him think.
Eventually, more and more of these collections would end up in landfills or rot away, as they sat in these buildings.
Since Danny contacted those others, he has stacks of cardboard containers stuffed with tapes of all shapes and sizes, including some super-rare professional tapes.
This collection includes video game history from the late 90s up to about 2010 – you’ll almost certainly never have seen it before.
“Most of this stuff was done before YouTube,” Danny says. As a result, none of us had high-speed internet access at the time.
Videotapes have been sent to video game websites or TV channels without their permission.”
From just a few tapes pulled from a “couple of random boxes”, he’s already uncovered an interview with Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima and a tour of Call of Duty studio Infinity Ward featuring two developers who were later fired and went on to launch the multiplayer shooter Apex Legends.
He has found other gems since then.
“I found a tape a couple days ago that said ‘Nintendo Tour’,” he says.
It showed footage of an employee-only museum inside Nintendo’s old USA headquarters when he loaded it up.
He says, “It was 30 minutes of a room no one had ever seen before, and it no longer exists.”.