Game Preservation SIG

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The Game Preservation SIG aims to help preserve videogame history.

Overview

The purpose of the Game Preservation SIG is to serve as a meta-resource, hub and community for those interested in digital game preservation and history. The SIG aims to be a one-stop-shop for all game preservation related news and projects, and will work towards setting standards and guidelines for assisting industry/academia in establishing preservation efforts.

Objectives

The Game Preservation SIG focuses on:

  • Preserving game history in a variety of ways
  • Providing help, standards and guidelines to establish preservation efforts, and to existing efforts
  • Being a hub of preservation work and keep record of news, events and history relating to game preservation

SIG News

Please see our IGDA home page for SIG and other news. For monthly roundups, see the Monthly Roundups page, released on the 1st of every month covering what happened in the previous month, and what will be occurring in the coming weeks. Some important immediate news will be posted here:

History

See our Game Preservation SIG History page for details on the SIG's past work, leaders and GDC roundtables.

Contact and discussion

See the contact page for information on contacting us, and visit the IGDA forum or join the mailing list for discussions on game preservation.

Membership and Organisation

The Game Preservation SIG welcomes any help from industry, academia or IGDA membership. There is no formal membership structure or committee, but at least a free IGDA account is required to help with projects, and signing up to the mailing list is also necessary. Volunteers can help on numerous projects listed below, offer to help advocate the SIG and preservation or just help with discussions and comments we have, or contribute new discussions! Also feel free to contact the SIG about your personal history as a developer.

The current Preservation SIG Team who administrate various parts of the SIG is made up of:

  • SIG Chairperson: Henry Lowood - Stanford University
  • Mailing List Moderator: Melanie Swalwell - Flinders University (in Adelaide, Australia)
  • Wiki/Blog Editor: Andrew Armstrong
  • Memorials Project Lead: Devin Monnens

SIG Resources

See the SIG Resources page for links to all the SIG downloads, notes pages, SIG documentation and reports, and other items not suitable for their own dedicated project page.

Current SIG Preservation Projects

There are a variety of ongoing SIG projects listed below alphabetically, please see the project page for more detail.

  • Bibliography - Starting. A new website built to contain bibliographic references - articles, books, and other media, easily updated and categorised. Run by Andrew Armstrong.
  • Digital Game Canon - On Hold. Started for a GDC 2007 session. This project recognizes the importance of digital game culture. The Canon provides a starting-point for the difficult task of preserving its history. This project will need to be restarted in some capacity in the future. Run by Henry Lowood.
  • Contributions Information - In progress. A list of archives, museums and other locations which are happy to accept videogame developer material donated by you! Run by Andrew Armstrong.
  • IGDA History - On Hold. Work to preserve the history of the IGDA itself, which will eventually contain timelines, old documents, information on past board members and interviews. At the moment on hold due to time and resource issues - contact us if you can help (especially if you are an old board member). Run by Andrew Armstrong.
  • Internet Archive Videogames Collection - Ongoing. Work to preserve videogame related videos. Contributions always welcome. Run primarily by Simon Carless and Andrew Armstrong.
  • Memorials - Ongoing. A set of obituaries, biographies and information on developers and related people who have passed away. Run by Devin Monnens.
  • Videogame Museums, Archives, Displays and Collections - Not started. In depth reference pages for museums, archives and collections of videogames and computers, past and present. Contains information on what is in a collection, how it is accessed (if at all) by historians, how to donate, and where it is located. Will also include yearly updates collected from each organisation for ongoing information. Will also include information on displays of videogames in non-videogame museums. Run by Andrew Armstrong.
  • Oral Histories - Not started. Interviews with industry people related to their past works. Brought up at GDC 2008, but currently has no assigned project lead. Run by Dean O’Donnell.
  • White Papers - Ongoing. A effort to get a yearly white paper completed before GDC to advocate preservation, provide guidelines or help to preservationists or research the area. See the page for information on the past, current and future white papers. Run by Henry Lowood.

These are an alphabetical list of projects with no people working on them (most new ones for 2009). If you are interested in running one of these please contact us! Help for each project is also sorely needed.

  • Collectors Information - Not started. A set of resource pages on the area of videogame collectors. When complete, will hold information on the reasons behind it, the communities that are based on it, and who gets involved in the work. This will be aimed at people interested in the area for whatever reason (such as tracking information not held in public archives or online) rather then for collectors themselves. Currently unassigned.
  • Emulators - Not started. A brief look at emulators, and the community of who is involved and their status' Currently unassigned.
  • Legal - Not started. Legal issues, including but not limited to: Standard form for submitting donations, information on how to do front door and back door acquisitions when a company goes bankrupt, information and articles on copyright and legal issues surrounding ownership on digital files. Currently unassigned.
  • SIG Collaboration - Not started. Collaboration on collecting each SIG area's history, or the SIG's own history. Currently unassigned.
  • Standards - Not started. Standards for preservation - may be brought up in a white paper, but also will have listed information for individuals, companies, archivists - and also company archivists, so a wide area. Currently unassigned.

External Preservation Projects

There are various Projects ongoing around the web and by institutions, dedicated to specific or general historical videogame preservation.

Resources

See the Resources section for an incomplete list of books, papers, and web and print articles on the history of videogames or videogame preservation.

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