The National Videogame Foundation continues its work with Bath Spa University, developing strategies for videogame curation and exhibition, surveying international work and publishing a new White Paper detailing their findings and recommendations.
While the economic and cultural value of videogames to the U.K. and global creative sectors is widely recognised, the long-term sustainability of games heritage is under threat. Unless we act now, future generations will lose access to their cultural heritage and the next generation of UK developers will be robbed of historical reference material.
A number of museums, galleries and grassroots projects around the world have dedicated themselves to preserving, curating and exhibiting videogames. At the forefront of this are the UK’s National Videogame Arcade, The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY, the Computerpielemuseum in Berlin and Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.
However, this activity is not co-ordinated at a national or international level.
Supported by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust, this year, Iain Simons (National Videogame Foundation) and Professor James Newman (Bath Spa University) will travel to Japan, the USA and Germany to survey colleagues’ work, share practise from the National Videogame Arcade and publish a White Paper sharing their findings and recommendations.
Iain Simons, CEO of the National Videogame Foundation commented:
‘The National Videogame Foundation, with the support of its guests and patrons, is already taking the lead in showcasing and interpreting videogames in the UK through the National Videogame Arcade. I’m excited to be able to share our experiences of videogame curation with colleagues across the world. We need to learn from each other and work out the where the gaps in coverage currently are. By looking at how different organisations are tackling curation, access and exhibition, the NVA is going to take a leading role in co-ordinating this activity and identifying opportunities for greater national and international collaboration. This is a fantastic opportunity both for the NVA and for videogame culture as a whole.’
Prof. James Newman of Bath Spa University said:
‘Despite an increased awareness of the cultural value of videogames and the long-term vulnerability of digital media, game preservation, curation and exhibition practice are still in their early stages. We’re really excited to be supported by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust and to work with colleagues across the world to help establish ways to preserve and present videogames for future generations.’
Simons and Newman will publish their findings in a White Paper later this year. The White Paper will set out the key questions and offer best practice guidelines for future game preservation, curation and exhibition.