Anne Lamott on dancing and eventual grace
Feeling edgy and blue: time to armor up

Stanford proposes Library of Congress archive "historically significant" computer games

Tetris Henry Lowood of Stanford University recently announced his proposal to the Library of Congress that video / computer games be added to the list of important digital media being archived by the Library.  QJ.net reports that on March 8 at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), Henry Lowood unveiled a proposed "game canon," i.e. a list of important video games worth preserving. "Creating this list is an assertion," Lowood said, "that digital games have a cultural significance and a historical significance."

What games, of the tens of thousands out there, made the cut? It's an interesting assortment:

  1. Spacewar! (1962)
  2. Star Raiders (1979)
  3. Zork (1980)
  4. Tetris (1985)
  5. SimCity (1989)
  6. Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990)
  7. Civilization I (1991) & Civilization II (1996)
  8. Doom (1993)
  9. The Warcraft series
  10. Sensible World of Soccer (1994)

This canon was created in by a committee comprised of Warren Spector (Deus Ex), Steve Meretzky (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Stanford humanities researcher Matteo Bittanti, and Joystiq editor Christopher Grant. I'd love to see the arguments for each one was included.  No question about the significance of 1-5, 8 and 9.  But what the hell is "Sensible World of Soccer" doing there?

The Library of Congress in 2000 created a new program to archive culturally and historically relevant digital media called the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. The current list of important digital media to add to their holdings includes geospatial data, websites, television, social science datasets, e-journals and other historical materials.  This would be in addition to the Library of Congress's collections of US and foreign films, US music recordings, and television and radio broadcasts.

comments powered by Disqus