g is for games

I have to do a presentation tomorrow…just a 5 minute lightning talk but my consciousness is utterly lacking. I slept well last night and generally sleeping a lot better in recent months. Perhaps the buzz I mentioned yesterday has caught up with me. I don’t know.

I have managed to throw a few things together anyway and I have my topic sorted out: the preservation of computer games. However I’m not touching so much on the preservation itself but rather, what I believe is one of the controversies in the field. In book terms, we talk of content vs container especially as we describe the move from print to digital. For many books, the container doesn’t matter, however occasionally it does, and I have documented elsewhere my fetish for nicely bound editions of books that interest me.

So too, in gaming. There are numerous games that have been ported and for which there exist emulators on a variety of systems. This means that the content remains available as technology advances. I’m also interested in the potential for preserving the experience of gaming whether it be:

  • the sound of a dialup modem “handshaking” at 300 baud (or even 1100/75)
  • the whir of a C64’s 1541 disk drive as it loads data between turns
  • the sore thumb from overuse of an Atari joystick

This is a harder thing to preserve as it means preserving working equipment and in that direction, there are some efforts to preserve hardware too. With that said, does anyone really want to destroy their bodies using poorly designed joysticks anymore?

3 thoughts on “g is for games

  1. My partner has a collection of old consoles and games: NES, SNES, Atari 2600. Playing them is a totally different experience to using an emulator! They do take up a lot of space though :)

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