Enrolling Heterogeneous Partners in Video Game Preservation
This article extends previous work known as Preserving Virtual Worlds II (PVWII), funded through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The author draws on interview data collected from video game developers, content analysis of several long-running video game series, as well as the project’s advisory board and researcher reports. This paper exposes two fundamental challenges in creating metrics and specifications for the preservation of virtual worlds; namely, that there is no one type of user or designated video game stakeholder community, and that significant properties of games cannot always be located in code or platform. The PVWII data serve to explain why existing ideas about preservation of video games are inadequate when games are treated as digital cultural heritage. Preservation specialists need to bind nebulous and dynamic digital objects, a process that is necessary while inherently artificial.
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