The prototypes in Ed Semrad’s basement by Frank Cifaldi for Video Game History Foundation
Ed’s obsessive personality made EGM a valuable resource. If a game existed and could be seen by his eyes, he had to have screenshots in the magazine. Ed was careful to catalog every game he saw at every trade show he attended. If it was playable, he snapped photographs while another editor played, with the “cone of silence” he invented and was well known for.
If there was a video loop showing footage of a game he couldn’t get his hands on, Ed patiently stood with his camera at the ready to make sure he captured it. If photography wasn’t allowed, Ed would find a hiding spot to sneak shots with a zoom lens. His office walls were adorned with photographs he’d taken of the “no photography allowed” signs he’d encountered on the job. At least once, when no one was looking, Ed re-routed a demo station’s video cables into a camcorder and back out to the TV, quietly recording an entire game demo that turned into a multi-page spread that the magazine was not supposed to have.
I remember sitting in my dark bedroom with my Dad’s digital camera recording my first game review.1 Ed was on another level with his capture. A great find for preservation and future education.