Posted September 26, 2019 by Tim Norman in Feature
 
 

National Film & Sound Archive to collect and preserve video games


Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) has announced it will begin collecting and preserving Australian-made video games.

The announcement was made at the opening of the Game Masters exhibition in Canberra, an exhibition celebrating 50 years of gaming from around the world that features over 80 games. The exhibition opens to the public on September 27 and runs until March 9, 2020.

In a quote, NFSA CEO Jan Muller had the following to say:

‘Today we welcome video games into our collection of more than 3 million items. The collection represents the cultural diversity and breadth of experience of all Australians, and it is constantly evolving just like our creative industries.

We aim to be the national leader in collecting multimedia and new media content, and it would be impossible to
accurately represent modern life without games. It is essential that games be collected alongside other audiovisual
media, to ensure their continued preservation and access.’

Initially, 8 games will be preserved. The starting list is:

  • The Hobbit (Beam Software, 1982)
  • Halloween Harry (Interactive Binary Illusions / Sub Zero Software, 1985/1993)
  • Shadowrun (Beam Software, 1993)
  • L.A. Noire (Team Bondi, 2011)
  • Submerged (Uppercut Games, 2015)
  • Hollow Knight (Team Cherry, 2017)
  • Florence (Mountains, 2018)
  • Espire 1: VR Operative (Digital Lode, 2019)

Muller says that the initial selection covers almost 40 years of gaming, showing the evolution of the medium. He went on to say that the games also demonstrate the archival challenges that exist when it comes to game preservation.

The response from the Australian games industry has been positive, with IGEA CEO Ron Curry saying “It’s very exciting to see a national collecting institution acknowledging the increasingly important role of video games in the life of all Australians. Games are a major part of contemporary popular culture; an artistic, storytelling and technological achievement, as well as an industry that contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the Australian economy. We look forward to working with the NFSA as they start adding games to their vast collection.”

Tickets to the Game Masters exhibition are available online at : https://www.nfsa.gov.au/gamemasters.


Tim Norman

 
Raised in the arcades of the 1990s, Tim believes that if you're not playing for score, then you're not playing.