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My latest (and probably final) essay: Game Preservation in the Digital-Age


Joshua Rogers
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Very great article!

We are extremely fortunate that the gaming medium is so new and is directly linked with the rise of the computer.

Even the earliest demonstrations of gaming are documented to at least exist. Though there’s a fine line between archival and preservation.

Me personally, I consider myself an archivist and not a preservationist. As an archivist my goal is to document things. Basically in essence, simply to write. A preservationist in contrast curates the actual experience.

Eventually all digital media will fail, consoles will no longer work, computers will stop powering on, and hard drives will corrupt.

Emulation is the only way of the future but even that must be continually monitored because technological paradigm shifts can happen and somewhere along the lines we might realize that some software is physically unplayable on the computers of the future.

 

Theres also the issue of laying out a blueprint on how things should be preserved. What may be obvious today might not seem obvious in the future.

Not many people would realize that a game like “The Mafat Conspiracy” is a sequel of “Golgo 13” or that “Pokémon Stadium 2” released in the US is actually the THIRD game in the series.

Functionality would also need to be preserved somehow. The Lightgun for example is completely incompatible with modern day televisions. As CRTs begin to fail around the world Games like Duck Hunt, or Time Crisis are unplayable beyond a mouse and keyboard...but even then the overall experience is lost.

Finally, the experience of the arcade needs to be preserved. The layout of the controls and the form factor of the arcade cabinet contributes to the experience. There are some functionalities that can’t be reproduced purely by emulation.

 

All in all, we have a good starting point but the job of game preservation is still in its infancy.

Edited by ThePhleo
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