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Do you want to save your progress? Preservation Strategies of the Videogame Industry (and what their users could teach them) Rachel Donahue SAA Annual.

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Presentation on theme: "Do you want to save your progress? Preservation Strategies of the Videogame Industry (and what their users could teach them) Rachel Donahue SAA Annual."— Presentation transcript:

1 Do you want to save your progress? Preservation Strategies of the Videogame Industry (and what their users could teach them) Rachel Donahue SAA Annual Meeting 8/14/09 Rachel Donahue SAA Annual Meeting 8/14/09

2 Video Games? Why even save them? ¤ They’re fun! ¤ They’re becoming culturally important ¤ The video game industry represents a sizable chunk of the retail market ¤ Many people, of all demographics, play them 8/14/2009SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue2

3 Why even save them? “In the next 10 years, there will be an earthshaking Citizen Kane of games.” Guillermo Del Toro All of this points to video games becoming an important part of our history – and due the same attention to preservation that other historical documents, artwork, and artifacts receive. 8/14/2009SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue3

4 What ’ s so difficult? ¤ Video games face the same challenges as any other electronic record: º Hardware obsolescence º Software obsolescence º Proprietary formats º Complexity º Lack of documentation 8/14/2009SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue4

5 What ’ s so difficult? ¤ These challenges are compounded by: º Underlying formats being obscured by compiling processes º Intentional hardware obsolescence º Complex intellectual property issues º Industry disinterest 8/14/2009SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue5

6 Do you want to save your progress? Yes No No 8/14/2009SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue6

7 Industry Quickstats ¤ 48 participants ¤ 26 from companies w/50+ employees ¤ 15 completed the survey (6 from the big guys) ¤ 4 willing to answer follow up questions ¤ 9 had a formal RM program ¤ 2 used records schedules ¤ 12 gave their preservation tactics 8/14/2009SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue7

8 What are they creating? 8/14/2009 SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue 8 ¤ Custom software tools to aid in development activities ¤ Multiple versions of the underlying code ¤ Documentation ¤ Artwork, both digital and physical ¤ Music

9 Records management and preservation 8/14/2009 SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue 9 ¤ Practicing configuration management. Sort of. ¤ No one in charge of RM or CM ¤ Decisions are made at whim ¤ Keep things if they might be useful to future projects ¤ Often no retention schedule, or even a standard location for materials no longer in active use To be fair, this lack of afterthought is partly due to the frantic pace of game development.

10 Why the Industry should care 8/14/2009 SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue 10 ¤ It’s their history! ¤ Train new developers ¤ Build the brand ¤ Re-release potential ¤ Scholarship ¤ Their customers care

11 8/14/2009 SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue 11 Do you want to save your progress? Yes No Yes

12 Community Quick Stats 8/14/2009 SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue 12 ¤ 62 participants by April 2009 ¤ 87% completed the survey ¤ 19 had engaged in preservation activity ¤ Many: gave constructive comments in the free text boxes

13 Community Preservation 8/14/2009 SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue 13 ¤ Creating disk images ¤ Refurbishing/restoration ¤ Contributing to emulators ¤ Translation ¤ Porting to non-native systems ¤ New games for old systems ¤ Writing best practices

14 Structured Metadata: Required and optional fields 8/14/2009 SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue 14

15 The Problem: Intellectual Property 8/14/2009 SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue 15

16 Mine! 8/14/2009 SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue 16 Quick outline of the “simple” legal problem ¤ No copies allowed! ¤ Terms of Service/License Agreements mean videogames are NOT covered under section 108

17 THE END! Rachel Read the questions at: 8/14/2009 SAA Annual Meeting Rachel Donahue 17


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