SUDDENデス (that's "desu," pronounced "dayss" and used as in the phrase "Sudden Death") is a website dedicated to digital archaeology and related topics, such as data preservation, hardware emulation and video game industry history.
What is Digital Archaeology?
Digital archaeology is part of a wider field of study called archaeogaming. This deals with archaeological concepts as applied to video games, both internally as part of the game experience and externally as data and physical media. Our corner of this field deals with examining the data itself as an "archaeological site" from which we can excavate artifacts to tell us more about the game as a piece of software.
The study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains
The analysis of software data to understand the program logic and development techniques; discover and recover hidden, disabled or otherwise inaccessible content; and improve our understanding of the evolution of the software's history
By deconstructing the data, we may find program code that has been disabled, such as graphics viewers, stage selects and other debugging tools. We may find half-finished stages or unused music. We may even find easter eggs that would have been impossible to trigger otherwise. Just as a classical archaeologist carefully digs into the dirt to not only discover artifacts but to also examine the context in which they were found in order to better understand the story of the past, we want to uncover lost content and use it to help us determine what happened with the game's development.
We don't know what's hiding on the disks and cartridges and ROM chips until we take the time to examine it!