Library of Congress to preserve video games

August 6, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Library of CongressI’ve noticed a bit of concern amongst classic game enthusiasts about proper preservation of older games.  Their concerns range from digital downloads replacing physical items (what happens when a download service is no longer available) to online games becoming unplayable (what happens when a company decides it’s not profitable to keep running servers) to hardware deteriorating over time (we’ve all seen what happens to an NES).  Well, fear not.  it looks like the good old Library of Congress is on the case.  On Friday, the Library announced a new program to preserve digital media of many types, including video games.

The game-news circuit seems to have picked up on the story today, and I figured I’d pass it along as well, since I’m sure this is a topic of interest for many visitors of this site.  Here are a few details:

http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2007/07-156.html 

August 3, 2007 

Digital Preservation Program Makes Awards to Preserve American Creative Works
Preserving Creative America Initiative to Engage Private Sector Creators of Films, Sound Recordings, Photographs, Cartoons and Video Games in Digital Formats

The Library of Congress, through its National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), today announced eight partnerships as part of its new Preserving Creative America initiative to address the long-term preservation of creative content in digital form. These partners will target preservation issues across a broad range of creative works, including digital photographs, cartoons, motion pictures, sound recordings and even video games. The work will be conducted by a combination of industry trade associations, private sector companies and nonprofits, as well as cultural heritage institutions.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Interactive media are highly complex and at high risk for loss as technologies rapidly become obsolete. The Preserving Virtual Worlds project will explore methods for preserving digital games and interactive fiction. Major activities will include developing basic standards for metadata and content representation and conducting a series of archiving case studies for early video games, electronic literature and Second Life, an interactive multiplayer game.

Judging by the press release, it seems they might have particular interest in Second Life and other virtual worlds.  Let’s hope they give old video and arcade games their due, too!

About Tim
My name is Tim. I live in Madison, WI. I'm a retro gamer.

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