[SIGCIS-Members] Register now! Unacceptable Loss: Video Game Preservation in Libraries and Archives

Jessica Farrell jess.farrell at educopia.org
Thu Sep 7 08:44:21 PDT 2023

 Dear friends,

You're invited to Unacceptable Loss: Video Game Preservation in Libraries
and Archives, hosted by Library Futures <https://www.libraryfutures.net/>
in collaboration with the Software Preservation Network
*Register Here.

[image: image.png]

Join *Phil Salvador* (Video Game History Foundation),* Laine Nooney* (NYU
and Unboxing Pod) and* Meredith Rose *(Public Knowledge) to discuss the new
report "Survey of the Video Game Reissue Market in the United States
<https://gamehistory.org/87percent/>" on *Tuesday, September 26th* at 1pm
ET / 5pm UTC.

While the video game industry and cultural heritage institutions agree that
video games should be preserved for both entertainment and study, there is
disagreement about whether the commercial market preempts the need for
libraries, museums, and archives to expand their preservation activities.
To better inform these discussions, the VGHF+SPN gathered evidence about
what portion of historical games are actually still in commercial
distribution. We believe this is the first major study to analyze the
availability rates for a broad sample of historical games in this manner.

The results are stark: Only 13 percent of classic video games published in
the United States are currently in release (n = 1500, ±2.5%, 95% CI). These
low numbers are consistent across platform ecosystems and time periods.
Troublingly, the reissue rate drops below 3 percent for games released
prior to 1985—the foundational era of video games—indicating that the
interests of the marketplace may not align with the needs of video game
researchers. Our experiences gathering data for this study suggest that
these problems will intensify over time due to a low diversity of reissue
sources and the long-term volatility of digital game storefronts.

Our results question whether the commercial market alone can adequately
preserve the medium of video games, particularly for the needs of
researchers. While this study does not make specific recommendations for
improving the state of game availability, it instead offers statistics that
can guide future discussions about the role of cultural institutions in
video game preservation.

This event is hosted by Library Futures in collaboration with the Software
Preservation Network. Autocaptioning will be enabled for the event. Please
reach out if you have other accessibility needs!

*Register Here: *

Jess Farrell | she/her/hers
Community Facilitator <https://educopia.org/bitcurator-edu/>
Software Preservation Network <https://www.softwarepreservationnetwork.org/>
and BitCurator Consortium <https://bitcuratorconsortium.org/>
Educopia Institute
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