By Dan Zuccarelli . March 13, 2007 . 12:19pm
I’m usually loathe to advertise lists that people make. Top 10 this, best 5 that… they seem to pop up every few minutes on the internet and exist solely to aggravate people. But this one here has not only alot of talent behind it but a good reason to exist in the 1st place.
Back in the late 90′s, as curator of the History of Science and Technology Collections at Stanford University, a man named Henry Lowood began to catalog video games and video game artifacts. Since then, there have been rumblings from the Library of Congress that they just might begin to include video games into their massive collection.
Mr. Lowood assembled a group of journalists and game designers to come up with a list of what games should be included. The group takes after the National Film Preservation Board, who every year put together a list of films to be added to the National Film Registry, which is maintained by the Library of Congress. His group included game designers Warren Spector and Steve Meretzky; Matteo Bittanti, an academic researcher; and Christopher Grant from Joystiq.
So what games did they come up with?
What’s important to remember though is that this list is hopefully the 1st of many, since every year more games would be added to the library in order to be preserved. A problem arises though with the proprietary nature of the systems the games play on. How do you preserve a copy of Star Raiders or Zork? What happens when there’s no more Atari’s or C64′s that work? Technically emulators are illegal. It raises an interesting question moving forward about how to best preserve the history of video games.
Why is this list important? Here’s what Mr. Lowood says that “creating this list is an assertion that digital games have a cultural significance and a historical significance,” … “maybe we should do something about preserving them.”
As an aside if I were on this board I would’ve lobbied for the inclusion of Space Invaders or Pac-Man, simply because of their cultural relevance. Those 2 games more than any others brought video games to the masses. Of course as game fans we know there are hundreds of games that deserve to be included.