Gotta catch 'em all
April 12, 2015 12:23 PM   Subscribe

As an archivist, my ethical duty is to maintain those objects of intrinsic value to future generations. I’ve often found that others assume my profession is focused on facts and figures, the hard data from which a census or otherwise lifeless historical record can be drawn. Such data will inform one on how a people survived. As important as this data is, it cannot tell you how a people dreamed.

With the Electronic Software Association declaring it impossible to do without enabling piracy, that whole slippery business of video game archiving and its layers of tangled up rights ownerships and baffling legal obfuscation [previously] is getting talked about again. Some are not very happy about everyone's favorite internet mob harassing leading researchers and generally trying to destroy the medium they profess to love, but don't let that distract you from the awesome work that's still being done. It is a largely thankless and necessary endeavor to rescue the medium from the industry's own infamous incompetence.

And don't forget about the Internet Archive!
posted by byanyothername (3 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
The biggest slap in the face is that everyone's favourite new hate group is claiming that BitTorrent does a better job of preserving video game history than professional archivists ever could.
posted by Yowser at 8:43 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Thanks for an excellent summary of the issues! I'm currently writing an academic paper on the archival preservation of MMORPGs, and it's very helpful to see a roundup of recent popular articles on the subject.

The way I see it, we have two major issues here: Legality, and respectability. The former is a far greater issue. Even the people who aren't too out of touch to care are still completely hampered by overly restrictive copyright laws. At the very least, we need new legislation that reduces copyright terms for software specifically. I could see even members of congress being on board with this -- software loses its market value much more quickly than most other art forms, AND it erodes and loses access far more quickly as well.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 10:41 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

The girl game archival project that's rewriting geek history a really interesting article that totally belongs here covering the recovery of a set of fascinating 90s games aimed at girls by Theresa Duncan, game archival and how to present older works with context, the place of girls/women in game development and audiences generally and how remembering the medium as masculine is historically wrong.

It does briefly touch on suicide, though, just so that's not an unpleasant surprise. I remember her fondly if vaguely and was both heartened and heartbroken by reading the piece.
posted by byanyothername at 11:18 AM on April 24, 2015

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