- Ludic Cartography. Mapping Gamespaces
- Past Projects
- Preserving Virtual Worlds
- Research and Publication
In the Preserving Virtual Worlds project, we are exploring many methods for preserving the software and data of virtual worlds. Another central concern is making sure that an archival record remains of the activities and events that have occurred in these worlds.
Our project's efforts are of course motivated by a simple question. What will happen to the assets and objects created in virtual worlds when they are closed forever? This question leads to an event that many residents of virtual worlds have encountered already or will encounter someday: the closing of a virtual world to which they have become attached. What is it like to be there when the plug is pulled? How do the players or residents mourn (or celebrate) its passing?
Electronic Arts' EA-Land, formerly known as The Sims Online, shut down forever at 4.35am PST on 1 August 2008, just last week. Alex Degtiar from our project team had been capturing video to document places and activities in EA-Land before its closing, and he was present for the final See you Soon Party in EA Town Hall, hosted by EA's Parizad. The event began at 11pm the previous night, and Alex was able to capture the entire 5 1/2 hours of celebrations and goodbyes. We have just added a clip of the last five minutes to Archiving Virtual Worlds, the repository for virtual world videos curated by the How They Got Game project and hosted by the Internet Archive. (NB. If you have a fast connection, download the divx version for best quality.)