If you think the work of the ordinary archivist is hard, pity the computer game archivists. They have to contend with obsolesence of proprietary hardware, emulation of complex systems with minimal documentation, and copy controls (and the DMCA), not to mention the confused looks from those who don't understand why games matter. Well, the games that fill our leisure environment clearly matter as culture, but archaeologists of the future will have a difficult time understanding that part of our culture without archivists like those just speaking at Wizard of OS: Open Archives II. Games.
If culture isn't enough, though, computer and video games have also been the subjects of some of the best recent U.S. copyright decisions: Sega v. Accolade and Sony v. Connectix, both affirming that reverse engineering (and copying in the process) for the purpose of interoperability are fair use, not copyright infringement. The Internet Archive's explanation of its work to preserve games and other software garnered one of the four DMCA exemptions granted by the Librarian of Congress in the Copyright Office's recent rulemaking. Thanks guys!Posted by Wendy at June 11, 2004 05:47 AM | TrackBack