Indie games in libraries: preservation and acces

On the black board this week, I prepared a conceptual “stack” of socio-econo-legal issues
  1. Long term preservation (legal deposit, national bibliographies, literary archives and fonds management)
  2. Research and scholarship (academic labs, academic library acquisitions, interlibrary loans, copyright exceptions)
  3. Certify & contextualize (publishing, bookstores, fan culture)
  4. Access (public libraries & schools)s

We discussed a few points from this list…

Long term preservation

I’ve asked around (informally) about digital preservation initiatives in libraries & archives. All of my contacts indicated the same information: everyone is trying to “feed” existing initiatives rather than hosting/launching new ones. Most cited initiatives to preserve software (e.g.: digital games) include UNESCO’s as well as the Internet Archive’s Valérie and Michael are digging into this thread.

Research & scholarship

We talked about the idea of a games anthology. The main question centered on the process by which we would “pick” games to be included in the listing. One of the goals of this anthology would be to promote (or kick start or support) the long-term preservation of games (e.g. a studio would have to deposit their games in a software archive to be considered for the anthology). This fits well with the work done in an academic research lab (e.g.: TAG) and identifying “important” games is a key element of certification and contextualization.

Certify and contextualize

We discussed the idea of donations as in-kind support of the research and scholarship in games. A “crazy idea” would be to offer indie studios a “ticked to eternity” : by “gifting” their games for long term preservation and offering flexible licensing terms to allow for research and scholarship, we would then consider them for inclusion in a publishing/access model funded by library subscriptions. This is a very complex idea essentially summarizing the “institutional structure” around other, more “mature” cultural copyrighted works, are handled in our society.  Prem is really interested in this area.


There was a lot of talk around the training/education/pedagogical needs of librarians and other professionals. In fact, Scott and Valérie are interested in this, and are working on a way to establish a relationship with professionals in how they express their learning needs about games. Prem flagged that he would focus on the relationship with a narrower set of settings, more in the pilot project scenario. This final thread makes me think that we should perhaps broaden our scope to look beyond libraries as there are similarly unmet needs in the school (K-12) setting.

Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 2019-04-26 à 11:04 am.