British Library hints at videogame archiving plan

The British Library is looking to work more closely with the videogame industry to help preserve gaming's 30-year history.

Fears are growing that not enough is being done to archive the thousands of games which have been produced in the United Kingdom.

Now Paul Wheatley, a specialist in digital preservation, at the British Library, says it is keen to lend support, building on work already done by an initiative called the National Videogame Archive.

Industry experts say the country is in danger of losing vast quantities of gaming content and Mr Wheatley believes games and related documents from the 1970s through to the 1990s are already being lost.



His concerns mirror those of the British Library's chief executive, Lynne Brindley, who said last year the country faced a "black hole" of lost information as more records are moved digitally online.



Some industry watchers also believe the government should consider making it compulsory for publishers to hand over a copy of any game they produce. Such a requirement would mirror a law passed in 1662 which forces publishers of the printed word to deposit a single copy with the British Library.

Mr Wheatley said: "The games publishing industry recognises the value in preserving their computer games and many in the industry that I've talked to could relay horror stories about old material disappearing or being left to gradually decay in a box under someones desk."

In September 2008, the National Videogame Archive was created at the National Media Museum in Bradford, in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University.

Mr Wheatley says it has forged strong links with the the industry and has helped provide a good platform for the future. "At the very least I would like the British Library to provide support to the NVA based on this digital preservation expertise and I'm hoping we can collaborate further."

He expects imminent legal deposit legislation to help the British Library archive a set of specific writing, claiming that currently having to obtain permission in advance of archiving has proven to be difficult.

But although he would welcome a similar law for videogames, he adds: "Deposit for computer games is not within scope at the moment."

The industry appears widely accepting of the need for an archive with Michael Rawlinson, head of UK Interactive Entertainment, telling an audience during Nottingham's GameCity last week: "An archive is good for nostalgia and to connect back to our history and it helps us to understand our culture today based on our contribution to the past. It's absolutely right that we should have an archive."

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer - 2nd & 3rd Line

    £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The IT Support Engineer is needed to ass...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior / Mid Software Developer

    £22000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Service Desk Manager

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity to join a p...

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic and Motion Designer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Do you get a buzz from thinking up new ideas a...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea