Digital Game Canon Re-Boot at PAX-East

An excerpt from the Joystiq blog about the re-boot of the Digital Game Canon at a PAX-East Panel on Sunday, 13 March 2011: ""Ten Games You Need to Play: The Digital Game Canon" borrows its name from the 2007 GDC session of the same name, in which an incredible group of panelists (including this writer) deigned to select ten video games that deserved to be preserved. We're revisiting that effort, and reconsidering it with a stellar group of panelists."
Read more here:

Kevin Kelly at Stanford

Kevin Kelly will be speaking on the Stanford University campus on Weds., Jan 19th, 6pm.  His topic will be "What Technology Wants: Very Long-Term Trends in Technology."  This will be a great opportunity to listen to the founding editor of Wired and prolific author of books such as Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World (Addison Wesley 1994, Perseus Books, 1995) and What Technology Wants (Viking, 2010).
See the attached poster for the location and please spread the word.
Kevin Kelly at StanfordKevin Kelly at Stanford

Preserving Virtual Worlds is a Digital Preservation Award nominee

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) has officially announced the projects which have made the short list for the DPC awards.  The  nominees were announced at the iPres 2010 conference earlier today.   
I am pleased to pass on the news that Preserving Virtual Worlds, our project with the Univ. of Illinois, Univ. of Maryland, and Rochester Inst. of Technology has been put on the short list for the international Digital Preservation Award.  This award is presented in London as part of the Institute of Conservation ‘s (ICon) Conservation Awards.
The official news release is at
Speaking of PVW, we have just completed the final project report for the first two-year project funded by Library of Congress. You can find the report here:

Elijah Meeks interviews Tarn Adams

Elijah Meeks, the digital humanities specialist in Stanford Academic Computing, has interviewed Tarn Adams (Dwarf Fortress, former Stanford Ph.D.) for the HASTAC blog.  You can read the interesting interview here:


Bernhard Drax in our collections

Bernhard Drax is best-known for his impressive work as a documentary machinima-maker and investigative reporter in Second Life (where he is known primarily as Draxtor Despres).  In fact, he has multiple lives in the entertainment industry, making music and working in a variety of media.
Now he has achieved a first, with the featured presentations in both the Machinima Archive and the Archiving Virtual Worlds Collection.   His machinima piece is "I'm Too Busy to Date Your Avatar!," made in collaboration with Second Life "talkshow Goddess" Pooky Amsterdam and the German house/electronica producer Samuel's Dream.  It is a machinima response to the trailer for the third season of The Guild," "Do you wanna date my avatar." 
In the Archiving Virtual Worlds Collection, "Gone Gitmo" chronicles the development of Gone Gitmo, a virtual installation of Guantanamo Bay in Second Life.  This project is a collaboration of Peggy Weil and Nonny de la Pena.  Gone Gitmo was a European "Every Human Has Rights" finalist for the Media Award given in 2008.  Bernhard's efforts as an investigative journalist in Second Life are yielding unique video documentation of the uses and issues in this virtual world and thus we are very pleased to have his work in the Archives.

Game Art, Game History, Game Shows by HTGG

What have we been working on in the past few weeks? Here's a brief update:
Henry LowoodThe Complex History of Pong (PDF), a chapter of a special issue of IEEE Annals in the History of Computing co-edited by Lowood. 
Matteo Bittanti: Experiments in Game Art:  c'était un rendez-vous numerique (2009)ObamAds (2009) and james ballard plays burnout (2009).
Nicholas Wener:  "All Your History Are Belong To Us", a new game show that examines the history of specific game franchises, in this case, Halo. 

An Abundance of Avalon-Hill

It's been a few months, but the collection spotlight is now back.  I'm starting off with a large scoop of photos and a mild sprinkling of historical...sprinkles.  Think of it as a scrumptious classic game sundae.  Today's focus is the cover art of Avalon-Hill's Microcomputer Games Division, though I promise the art and games are more intriguing than their publisher's bland name.

6 Days: A collaboration of J. Joshua Diltz and Joseph DeLappe

6 Days” is a new piece stemming from a collaboration of master machinima maker Joshua Diltz and artist-provocateur Joseph DeLappe, two people whose work I have long admired. It has just been added to the Machinima Archive. Here is the introduction provided by Joshua:

How They Got Game & The Art of Games

The How They Got Game project was involved in The Art of Games, Italy's first main exhibition entirely dedicated to the world of game art. It opened on May 22 and will remain open until November 2009. The exhibition was organized and curated by the indefatigable team of MUSEA + Fabbrica Arte and by the mighty Matthias Hogvall. The venue is the Saint-Beinin Center in Aosta. 

Box Art Aesthetics: Board Games

Early games suffered from an apparent disconnection between a title's intended narrative content and the reality of the played experience. I say "intended narrative" because many early works provided only a cursory, and predominantly overlooked, attempt at a narrative framing of gameplay. The box art and inserts (manuals, goodies and such) provided an introduction to the game world before a player dove into the digital realm.  From my memory, I rarely recall looking through all the ancillary dirt surrounding my soon-to-be nugget of computer entertainment. However, the tradition of providing packaged extensions of the game's narrative space continues to this day in limited editions and pre-order specials. As a cataloguer of this material I rarely interact with the games in a digital space. I am circumscribed to a physical and textual relationship with the material and the game packaging forces me to confront arguments relating to the "whole package"; judging a game by its box art and tantalizing screenshots alone. The post below explores the concept of "box art rhetoric" as it relates to the presentation of board-game-like computer games.

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