U.K. Launches First Official National Videogame Archive

The videogame medium is, depending on when you start counting, 46 years old. That’s still relatively young compared to other popular media, but it’s old enough, it seems, to start preserving the industry’s rich history. To that end, the U.K.’s first official National Videogame Archive was launched earlier this week, which will house a “treasure trove” of consoles and cartridges ranging from “the humble beginnings of 1972’s ‘Pong’, to the blockbusters of the 21st Century.”

The archive was formed by academics at Nottingham Trent University, in cooperation with the National Media Museum in Bradford. The archive will, in fact, be located at the National Media Museum, and managed by Nottingham Trent University’s Centre for Contemporary Play. Interestingly, along with games and consoles, the archive will also include a wide swath of game-related media, such as advertising campaigns, artwork, and “the communities that sustain them” (which we really hope doesn’t mean they’ll be preserving the average videogame forum post).

“The National Videogame Archive is an important resource for preserving elements of our national cultural heritage,” said Nottingham Trent University’s Dr James Newman. “We don’t just want to create a virtual museum full of code or screenshots that you could see online. The archive will really get to grips with what is a very creative, social, and productive culture. It will not only be a vital academic resource to support growing disciplines in videogame studies but will also be something that the general public can fully engage with.”

The archive is similar to the archives that exist for other media, such as the National Film Preservation Foundation in the U.S. In fact, the press release for the National Videogame Archive specifically notes, as a reason for its creation, the “mistakes” made in the film industry that lead to the loss of historically significant materials in the past.

The actual opening of the National Videogame Archive will take place during the GameCity 3 festival in Nottingham, which is a three-day event set to start on October 30.

More info at source.

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