The Game Preservation Crisis
February 9, 2011 2:04 PM Subscribe
posted by timshel (44 comments total)
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Trash cans, landfills, and incinerators. Erasure, deletion, and obsolescence. These words could describe what has happened to the various building blocks of the video game industry in countries around the world. These building blocks consist of video game source code, the actual computer hardware used to create a particular video game, level layout diagrams, character designs, production documents, marketing material, and more.
These are just some elements of game creation that are gone -- never to be seen again. These elements make up the home console, handheld, PC and arcade games we've played. The only remnant of a particular game may be its name, or its final published version, since the possibility exists that no other physical copy of its creation remains.
As a community of video game developers, publishers, and players, we must begin asking ourselves some difficult but inevitable questions. Some believe there is no point in preserving a video game, arguing that games are short-term entertainment, while others disagree with this statement entirely, believing the industry is in a preservation crisis.
Where Games Go To Sleep: The Game Preservation Crisis
Keeping the Game Alive: Evaluating Strategies for the Preservation of Console Video Games
The National Videogame Archive
Save the Videogame!
- An essay on the National Videogame Archive & the state of preservation
Before It's Too Late: A Digital Game Preservation White Paper
- The Atlantic, March 2010
Is That Just Some Game? No, It’s a Cultural Artifact
- NY Times, March 2007