CIRCA:Video Games Archive Project


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Digital games (aka computer or video games) are currently a young medium, and so new also are developments in the areas of preservation, documentation/archiving, and exhibition of video game history. Beginning in September 2012 the GRAND research group at the University of Alberta has been exploring documenting and archiving games. Here are some key aspects of the video games archive project to date:

  • We were given access to a physical collection, currently being stored on campus, of about 1000 items of physical copies of games, boxes, manuals, and so forth from the personal collection of a private individual.
  • We conducted a survey of existing preservation efforts and concluded that the "crowdsourcing" style of preservation, that is, the creation of community websites with databases of publication info, game-related art (digitized box covers, manuals, videos of game-play) is quite extensive to the point where it is possible to find at least some information about any published game.
  • We recognized that the unique value of a particular physical collection of game paraphernalia is its connection to

complexity involved in preserving video games

Video games are a medium interdisciplinary in scope, synthesizing all forms of art and craft (material, procedural, and digitized) into artifacts that can be viewed and 'played' on a particular hardware 'platform.' The core distinguishing feature of games is their procedural interactivity

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