At a University Archive, Yesterday’s Cutting-Edge Video Games Play On

At a University Archive, Yesterday’s Cutting-Edge Video Games Play On 2

Brennen Jensen, for The Chronicle

Zach Vowell and Brenda Gunn oversee an archive at the University of Texas.

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Brennen Jensen, for The Chronicle

Zach Vowell and Brenda Gunn oversee an archive at the University of Texas.

Long before today’s Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Nintendo Wii systems, video games were decidedly simpler.

“Beware, foolish mortal, you trespass in Akalabeth: World of Doom!!”

So warns the hand-rendered cover of a 1980 video game on floppy disc, designed for the Apple II computer—a machine whose anemic 16-kilobyte memory would choke on a single e-mail message today. The crude drawing of a horned monster accompanying the disc looks like something a