An Interview with Alexis Bousiges
by Jonathan Imberi
Home at Arcade-History.net
you ever tried looking up information on your favorite video game? Whether
you are looking for information on scoring, technical information or
just the premise for the game, finding it all in one place is sure to
be a challenge. Well not anymore! Arcade-History.com has compiled the
first and only single source for all your game information needs. The
database features game descriptions, technical information, trivia,
update/revision information, details on scoring, tips and tricks, information
on the series, the ports available, and even the staff involved. If
you use MAME™, you probably take this information for granted, but have
you ever wondered who put it all together? I contacted Arcade-History.com
and was fortunate enough to be able to interview Alexis Bousiges.
For those of us who are not aware of Arcade-History.com, can you tell
us about it?
Arcade-History.com is an arcade videogame database that contains videogames
from 1971 to the present. As of this writing, more than 4,600 unique
games are indexed. Each game has his detailed page that contains a description,
trivia, tips & tricks, staff and a LOT of other things. Note that
everybody can contribute to the evolution of this database via the submission
system, this is our main power...
How did you get started with this project?
Originally, the project "history.dat" was created by Brian Duel in 1998.
"history.dat" is an information file that is used with/by the Multiple
Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME™). Brian passed the project on to me at
the end of 2000, as he was too busy to continue. Today, the file has
become a huge online SQL database that is capable of extracting a "history.dat"
file on the fly. It is maintained by two ultra-motivated videogame lovers:
myself and my programmer & friend "Kukulcan".
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm 25, I live in a small town called Mandelieu, beside Cannes (France),
you know, where the International Film Festival is celebrated. I'm,
at this moment, an unemployed graphic artist.
How much work goes into adding a history entry?
Work on an entry is never finished; there is always an update to do
on it. It's a non-stop evolution... We count much on contributors' knowledge.
We add new games as they become listed in MAME™. We also offer the SBBL,
which lists which games are "Mamed" and which remain “UnMamed”. (The
SBBL is generated automatically.)
The Arcade-History Database
Where do you obtain the information for use in the database?
From personal knowledge, old magazines, flyers, the Internet, and most
importantly from contributors all over the world.
What is your favorite entry in the database?
Some months ago, "Kukulcan" added the personalize-page system, or "how
to embellish a game page"... We work hard to personalize a maximum number
of game pages, here are some examples:
Jam TE (my favorite)
Kombat II (Kukulcan's favorite)
and several others... all these pages can be considered favorites :-)
What games are the hardest to find information on?
I remember one day, when I was looking for passwords for "Total
Carnage" (which is one of my all-time favorite games). I found
them by chance on an old archived Usenet discussion (from 1993!). We
are today one of the only sources on the Internet to provide a complete
list of this rare passwords (except all the websites that use our "history.dat"
Is this a hobby or a full time job for you?
It's a hobby that takes the time of a full time job :-)
But my very first hobby is not videogames; I love (and collect) Horror/Fantastic/Sci-Fi
movies. If you want, you can browse my DVD collection here.
Do you accept monetary donations, and how can one go about donating?
Actually, our new private server costs about 450€/year, and since I've
no job... yes; we accept and greatly need monetary donations (via PayPal).
How closely do you work with the developers of MAME™?
Since I'm not a programmer, I've nothing to do with the developers of
MAME™. I use MAME™, as everyone does, to play my favorites games ;-)
Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers about Arcade-History.com?
If you like classic videogames, keep an eye on our website, it's a non-stop
evolution (information or/and features) and we have a LOT of new ideas
to add soon. It's the debut of a long life...
Thank you for allowing Coin-Op TV to interview you!
Thank you very much for your interest in the Arcade-History.com website.
You can find the Arcade-History web site at www.arcade-history.com.
I was surprised to find that the same information available in MAME™
is also viewable through this online database. This site contains a
wealth of information that is a lot of fun to look through!
Until next time… nothing chomped,
RetroBlast! and COIN-OP TV Recommended
Arcade-History Database Online
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