IntroductionThe Sega Retro Scan Project is a coordinated effort to obtain video game magazines related to Sega Enterprises from around the world and distribute them for public consumption for informational, educational and research purposes free of charge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I donate to this project?As the lead of this project, I have spent more than half a decade working in the digital imaging industry and have handled numerous medical, financial, government, media and artistic records both in the B2B and B2C space. I can talk to you in nauseating CDIA+ detail if you desire. ;)
Sega Retro is a long-standing member of the video game research community, with our sister site Sonic Retro being one of the oldest and most respected video game communities with a lineage spanning more than a decade. We are not a fly-by-night operation; we have already spent years acquiring magazines for this project and we assure you of our continued dedication.
Most video game magazine scanners are amateurs who are scanning on their own time and effort, which leads to slow release and highly variable quality. By streamlining the process, we aim to reduce turnaround time and provide rare magazines we couldn't otherwise offer.
Why Sega magazines—and why international magazines?By focusing on Sega-related media we avoid any legal issues that would arise from working with current publications. It should be noted that certain regions (specifically in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia) there are usually only multiformat magazines before 2002, and so these may also be considered for inclusion to the project.
We also believe that the amateur video game scanning community has and will do a sufficient job documenting magazines from the US/UK and thus would like to use our collective bargaining to attain less common magazines.
How do you decide what magazines and countries from which to buy?We have a process for determining the highest value to the general public corresponding to the price being charged, but do not plan to announce what magazine issues we are acquiring until they have been publicly released as to not artificially inflate the used video game magazine market.
Speaking of money—what are your costs for magazines?We aim to spend less than USD $10 per magazine and to aggressively buy lot magazines when possible. We calculate shipping costs to even out to about an additional $5 - $10 per magazine, and our raw scanning costs are an additional $10, leaving a total cost of $30/magazine. This is reflected in our goals for release per month.
What is the scanning process like after acquiring a magazine?First, the magazine is manually reviewed to ensure that it is a quality candidate for scanning—there is no writing on pages, there are few-to-no tears on pages, etc. From there, the magazines are delivered to a secure scanning facility. Magazine issues will either have their spine cut or stapling removed depending on the binding type, then flatbed scanned at 600DPI. There is a two-pass OCR with human review (for English/Japanese-language magazines) conducted, and then scans are reviewed to ensure skew, overlap, cropping and other issues are addressed before approving.
What happens to a magazine after it is scanned?In order to correctly scan a magazine without destroying the binding (using a Zeutschel OS15000 series or similar device) with the specifications we are aiming for, the project would have a scan cost closer to $75/magazine.
As a result, the magazine's spine will be removed before scanning and the pages discarded once a scan has received final approval. If you are an educational institution or museum and would be interested in having the unbound physical copy on file, please let us know.