An archive of computer games websites may seem an unusual subject for collection by the British Library – but with the help of Bath Spa University gaming expert Professor James Newman, a major project is underway to capture a comprehensive view of computer game development.
Professor Newman, who is Director of the Media Futures Research Centre at Bath Spa University, and co-Director of the National Videogame Archive, is advising a partnership of the British Library and the National Media Museum. A special collection of videogames will be created for the UK Web Archive, preserving the cultural and societal impact of computer games in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Professor Newman explained: "This is a major step forward in ensuring that a significant part of UK culture is documented and preserved.
"Being a gamer isn't just about playing games. It involves writing about them, reviewing them, debating which version is best, sharing strategies and tactics, writing solution guides, drawing pictures of characters, making movies, writing stories that develop game narratives…We need to make sure that all these practices, all these materials, many of which are shared online, are preserved so that we can understand what games mean, how they are played, and what their impact is."
For more information, and to nominate a videogame website for inclusion in the collection, see http://www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/info/nominate