NY School Assembling Video Game Archive

April 13, 2010 -

In order to complement the classes it offers on video game culture and history, Stony Brook University is in the throes of amassing an archive of videogames.

The student newspaper of the Long Island, New York-based school documents the efforts, which began with the acquisition of six historic consoles—the Atari 2600, a ColecoVision, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), a Super Nintendo, a Sega Genesis and a Nintendo 64. These systems will eventually be able to be played in a the Central Reading Room of the university’s library, while a permanent display of additional videogame material, from box art to magazines, will take up residence in the library’s Special Collection’s room.

The collection will be named the William A. Higinbotham Video and Computer Game Archive, to honor the man who created one of the world’s first electronic games, a title called Tennis for Two (pictured) which ran on an oscilloscope. As an aside, a video of the game in action at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, where Higinbotham invented it, can be seen on YouTube here.

Raiford Guins, a Stony Brook Cultural Studies Professor who teaches the videogame-related courses at Stony Brook, said that the collection would be selective and that the group hopes to “preserve the material history of video games.” While there is a budget attached to the project, it is small and Guins indicated that the group could use help, saying, “it’s only through donations that this will grow.”

The school is also planning a punk rock collection and already features an odd homage to data collection technologies as part of its Automatic Identification and Data Capture Archive.

Additionally, it’s hoped that the collection can eventually be used as a basis for coursework, as the article states, “A women’s studies lesson, for example, can explore how women are depicted in video games.”

The collection is expected to be open for all students to check out by 2011’s spring semester.

According to Guins’ bio, he is currently working on a book entitled Arcadeology: Excavations in Video Game History, Memory, and Preservation.


Comments

Re: NY School Assembling Video Game Archive

That's pretty cool. They never taught me that in DeVry Univ. Cheapscapes!  This is very interesting.

 

 

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Re: NY School Assembling Video Game Archive

This is definitely a good thing. Yeah, there are a few other similar efforts- Stanford's, as mentioned in the article, and the University of Texas's Video Game Archive at the Center for American History- but there's certainly room for more preservation, and potentially more research and collaboration before users of these collections.

Re: NY School Assembling Video Game Archive

U of M has an extensive archive already that students can use whenever they want. Every console and tons of games.

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: NY School Assembling Video Game Archive

I think they still have Tennis for Two on display at the BNL.  Maybe instead they could try and restore it to working order and have people try it out during their summer tours.


 
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benohawkI doubt it would of helped goth. it seems a lot of the people who blew up were just waiting for any issue to let loose07/31/2015 - 3:25pm
Andrew EisenI disagree with blaming an overreaction on what people are overreacting to.07/31/2015 - 3:24pm
Goth_Skunkpositions and apologize for any confusion they may have caused. Unless their intent WAS to provoke a sleeping lion, in which case... here we are.07/31/2015 - 3:20pm
Goth_SkunkAn overreaction that probably would not have happened if Gamasutra's article was the only one ever written. And an overreaction that could have also been calmed had the authors all collectively retracted or written follow-up pieces to clarify their07/31/2015 - 3:20pm
benohawkAndrew, neither side is blameless there. Through poor planning or deliberate attempts to offend those articles did push a bad situation to the worse. and the people who blew up are guilty for their reaction07/31/2015 - 3:19pm
Andrew EisenGoth - And the blame for that rests solely on the ding bats who grossly overreacted to a handful of opinion pieces.07/31/2015 - 3:11pm
Andrew EisenHere's a fun fact: Only two of the authors of the "Gamers Are Dead" articles (of which there are about 12) were on the Game Journo Pros list.07/31/2015 - 3:10pm
Goth_SkunkNo! No! Of course not! Nothing wrong with that at all! Nevermind that those articles spawned a huge, almost year-long consumer revolt and culture war that no one in the industry can deny exists. :^)07/31/2015 - 3:10pm
Andrew EisenThere's also nothing wrong with publishing an opinion you know is going to be unpopular with some. So long as it's genuine, anyway.07/31/2015 - 3:08pm
Andrew EisenEh, could be laziness, lack of imagination, bandwagon hopping or maybe Alexander's article inspired them to publish their own takes. Nothing wrong with that.07/31/2015 - 3:06pm
Goth_SkunkIf laziness was indeed the reason other sites produced articles of a similar vein, the laziness must reach levels that would make a cat blush. How lazy does one have to be unable to stop and think "maybe this isn't a good idea...'07/31/2015 - 3:04pm
Andrew EisenThe Mary Sue article title I'm a bit more comfortable being called clickbait as it's a deliberate misdirection but it's done for humor's sake so I personally give such things a pass.07/31/2015 - 3:01pm
Andrew EisenI count six similar titles and two of the authors aren't even journalists, let alone game journalists. It doesn't reek of collusion, it reeks of laziness, if anything. A few others saw Alexander's piece and wrote their own.07/31/2015 - 3:00pm
Goth_Skunkfeed. Additionally, I'm baffled by the irony of someone named 'Infophile' taking a Mary Sue article seriously. Ignoring that I won't give that site a second of my time, that article headline is blatant clickbait and should be ignored on principle.07/31/2015 - 2:58pm
Goth_SkunkI agree with Benohawk: The title of the article meant that the article was worth ignoring. Alas, when 9 additional sites pop up with similarly titled articles of their own, it reeks of collusion and an attempt by the press at large to bite the hands that07/31/2015 - 2:56pm
Andrew EisenAh, okay.07/31/2015 - 2:46pm
benohawkI'm saying that the refrence in the article to the old title would need to be changed well the primary point of the article would be kept the same. Not something that should be an issue if the objective wasn't to be provocative.07/31/2015 - 2:41pm
Andrew EisenYou're saying the article should be altered to fit a different title. I want to know what title you find more appropriate for the copy as is.07/31/2015 - 2:34pm
benohawkIt would take a minor rewrite to the article, but I'd call it 'What is a Gamer' but go for the same point. you don't have to sell to jerks07/31/2015 - 2:33pm
Andrew EisenI still say "clickbait" is thrown around way too casually, to the point where it's completely meaningless. That aside, what alternate title would you suggest?07/31/2015 - 2:22pm
 

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