How Hard Is It To Preserve Old Games?

VIdeogame makers spend so much time thinking about the future that sometimes we forget about the past. Wired has an amazing translated piece on the challenges that curators face in preserving old videogames. A must-read for anyone interested in either the curatorial arts or the history of games:

In conclusion, it can be stated that a complete, philologically credible form of game storage – especially one which recreates the original conditions of the game experience – is almost impossible. In the case of videogames, the numeric data underlying digital media does not allow, as Manovich presupposed, a transfer without some loss of quality.

Game archives and exhibitions have to give themselves a series of priorities. They must ask themselves questions about methodology to direct their actions. This must start from the awareness that the possibility of the recovery of the mental game experience is a Kantian regulative idea, something that can never be completely realised. A videogame is not merely a text, a support, atom or bit but an experience. A game is a relationship between the user/ text /space and usage and social context.

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